Some of the rarest and most unusual card-related pieces featuring early 20th century baseball greats are on the auction block this month. Even if men’s sock garters didn’t stand the test of time, the little pieces of baseball history have done just fine.
The only graded example of the 1912 Christy Mathewson leads a trio of three Boston Garter advertising cards in the current Heritage Auctions catalog. An artist’s creation, the card pictures the New York Giants hurler in a relaxed pose and sporting his garters with an advertising message and other players in the background.
Part of a rare 16 player set available in clothing stores and through a mail-in offer but apparently not well received, the SGC 1 (poor) example is one of only 15 1912 Boston Garter cards on the SGC Population Report. It’s expected to sell for at least $75,000 when bidding ends later this month. The card’s low grade is because of significant paper loss on the back.
The 1914 issue included 12 cards, meant for use as window displays. Most were apparently discarded as only two of each player’s card exist in graded form and fewer than 20 total examples have been graded.
The cards measure approximately 8 inches by 4 inches.
Boston Garter cards have brought big prices at auction. Earlier this year, Heritage sold the highest of three graded Joe Jackson cards from the 1914 set for $480,000 while a Ty Cobb sold in August of 2018 for $204,000.
Bidding for all three cards ends April 18 on the company’s website.