Dizzy Dean was one of baseball’s greatest pitchers in the 1930s. But injuries shortened his career and, as a result, he isn’t found on a large number of cards. His less popular brother Daffy Dean (real name Paul) also didn’t have the longest of careers, either, and that has also limited his card issues.
Daffy Dean pitched in nine seasons in the majors but that number is pretty deceptive. In four of those years, Dean pitched in five games or less. His 1937 season was particularly short as he pitched in one outing, giving up three runs while not recording a single out. Add it all up, and Daffy appeared in only 159 games.
Here are some of Dean’s more common and popular card issues.
1935 Rice Stix
This is one of Dean’s coolest collectibles. Dean teamed up with his brother Dizzy in a two-picture set of cards for Rice-Stix shirts. The pair were featured on boxes of the product and also included on a pair of baseball cards using the same images.
Dean’s card is often sold in conjunction with Dizzy’s and is not particularly easy to find on its own. Even in lesser grade, it is one of Daffy’s more expensive cards. You can usually find a small number of sets and singles on eBay.
1939 Play Ball
One of Dean’s easier cards to find is his 1939 Play Ball issue. He’s featured in the popular set that utilized black and white player photos and is seen here as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
A nice variation to this card is also known as many of the cards in the set have salesman sample cards with a message printed on the reverse in red ink. Whichever version you want, both are affordable. Dean’s regular Play Ball card can be found starting around $30-$40 in decent condition and his sample card usually starts around $50.
1934 Gold Medal Flour
Dean also finds himself in a somewhat rare premium set. Categorized as R313A, the 1934 Gold Medal Flour set is similar in appearance to the National Chicle fine pen premiums.
While the National Chicle fine pens featured players from numerous teams, the Gold Medal Flour issue was a set of premiums featuring players from the World Series teams, Dean’s Cardinals vs. the Detroit Tigers. A rarer grouping of other Gold Medal Flour premiums is also known but when most talk about these, they are referring the World Series issues.
Produced by Gold Medal Foods, these premiums are more than your standard National Chicle fine pens. Even Dean’s as a relative common will start around $50-$75 in mid-grade condition.
Like brother Dizzy, Paul Dean appears in the 1930s Batter Up issue. Produced from 1934-36, the Batter Up cards are a three-dimensional issue as they were designed to pop out from the background. These are often found heavily damaged with the tops (backgrounds) torn off. Also produced by Goudey rival National Chicle, they are one of the more unique 1930s gum card issues.
At No. 143 in the set, his card is one of the high numbers. It can be found in lesser condition for at a better price but in mid-grade shape, it starts around $100.
1940 Play Ball
1940 was Dean’s last season of significant playing time. He would continue to play until 1943 but pitched only eight more games after the 1940 season. Thus, the 1940 Play Ball issue is one of Dean’s final cards from his playing days.
Dean’s card pictures him with the New York Giants and this was the first of two seasons he spent with the club. It’s a simple portrait shot and is one of his more affordable issues. In decent condition, you can own one for a pretty reasonable price.