Finding a few 1928 Star Player Candy cards would be a nice addition to any pre-war baseball card collection. Finding all 72? That seems to be a nearly impossible task. At least one collector, however, has accomplished the feat and now, what’s believed to be the only known complete 1928 Star Player Candy set is coming to auction.
Heritage Auctions will offer the rare set in its upcoming auction.
A total of 72 cards are believed by most collectors to be found in the set. Some checklists, though, reference a 73rd card identifying Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig as being included. But while talk of a Gehrig card has been often rumored in circles of the hobby, its presence hasn’t been widely seen by enough people to fully confirm its existence. Gehrig does have a 1929 Star Player Candy card and it is possible that his addition into the 1928 checklist is a reflection of people having seen that card instead of the earlier edition. As a result, for now, a 1928 card of the Iron Horse remains purely speculative and will likely do so until more evidence of its existence surfaces.
The sepia-toned 1920s candy cards are not easily found and were issued by Dockman and Sons. That name will sound familiar to many caramel card collectors as they also produced a set of 40 cards cataloged as E92. And while the baseball cards are the more popular issue, Star Player Candy football cards also exist.
Leading the way in the legendary issue are Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and the release includes plenty of other Cooperstown inductees, including George Sisler, Tris Speaker, Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove, Eddie Collins, and many more. The pictures used on these cards are almost entirely action shots of players. One portrait did find its way into the mix, though, in Hall of Famer Dave Bancroft. The cards have the most basic of looks with a player’s picture on the front and his name printed in the bottom white border area. A thick white border area encompasses the card’s front. Blanks are entirely blank, which has certainly not aided collectors unfamiliar of the issue in identifying them.
All 72 cards offered in the Heritage auction have been graded by SGC with grades ranging from SGC 20 (Fair) through SGC 60 (Excellent). The Ruth card received a strong grade of SGC 40 (Very Good) while the Cobb card checked in at an SGC 30 (Good). More than one third cards of the cards (29 out of 72) offered in this listing were graded as an SGC 40 or higher producing not only a rare set, but one in fine condition for its age and level of scarcity. While it’s possible other complete sets may exist, research has led auction officials to the belief that this is the only one known in the hobby. Every player, with two exceptions, has a total population of between one and four on SGC’s population report. Almost half are one of just two , seven (noted above) are the only entries.
Heritage has placed an estimated value of $60,000 and up for this rare issue. The auction opens on Wednesday, March 28 and concludes on April 19 and 20.