Gum Inc. launched into the baseball card arena in 1939 with black-and-white photos of contemporary baseball players. Likely due to the popularity of the issue, the 1940 Play Ball set features 240 cards, larger than the previous year. While the set doesn’t seem to garner the same type of admiration from collectors as the colorized set that arrived in ’41, it is still jam-packed with the day’s superstars like Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams along with retired greats like Joe Jackson, Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson.
BurlsSports.com’s Set Break of the Week is a 1940 Play Ball set that is largely in VG to VG-EX condition. The key cards in the set include: #1 Joe DiMaggio SGC 20/1.5, #27 Ted Williams SGC 50/4, #40 Hank Greenberg PSA 4, #120 Walter Johnson VG, #133 Jimmie Foxx P, #168 Honus Wagner PSA 5 EX, #175 Christy Mathewson P, #225 Joe Jackson SGC 10/1.
The current market value of the Joe Jackson comes in at $600-800, Williams at approximately $450 and an SGC 20/1.5 DiMaggio coming in at about $350. In fact, even commons in the high series have a high book value of $70, and with over 50 Hall of Fame members in this set, there are plenty of higher valued cards in the break.
In a vintage set break, one slot representing each card in the break is sold. The cards are then distributed randomly to the participants through a random draw. Some will get the key cards for a fraction of their value, while others take home vintage commons for set building or trade bait. In order to ensure transparency, the randomization is broadcast live online for all participants to view.
The price for the 1940 Play Ball break is $24.99 per slot. To purchase slots in the break or to find out more, you can access the break page here. Slots went on sale Friday, March 25 at 7 AM CDT.
Burl’s Sports has recently acquired an impressive run of complete vintage sets that will be broken in the coming months, including a complete run of Topps sets from 1952-72, Goudey sets from 1933-36, 1939-1941 Play Ball and 1941 Double Play.