Tuesday, March 8, 2016

1988 World Wide Sports 1933 National League All Stars Set

Legendary sports photographer Charles M. Conlon (1868-1945) snapped thousands of Major League Baseball photos during the first half of the Twentieth Century. Taking quality photos during this time was certainly no small feat, especially before the creation of the first practical reflex cameras in the closing months of the 1920s.

To this day, Conlon continues to be one of the most famous baseball photographers of all time. Many of his photographs have been used to create new card sets depicting classic players; over a dozen sets featuring Conlon's photos were produced between 1981 and 1995. 

One such set, produced in 1988, is the 1933 National League All-Stars (sets featuring the 1933 American League and Negro League All-Stars were released at the same time; Conlon did not take the Negro League photos). Registering the standard card size of 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches, the uncluttered fronts feature sepia-toned photos and a small "1933 National All-Stars" banner in the upper right corner. Twenty-four subjects are featured in the National League set, with the majority of the photos being closer portraits from the chest-up. Three players are shown in baseball poses: Dizzy Dean, John Frederick and Frankie Frisch. 

Cards backs feature fairly length bios, a 1933 stat line and birth/death dates. The listed sponsors of the set are The Sporting News, Baseball Superstars Inc. and World Wide Sports of St. Louis. The cards are not numbered.

Classic cards of this nature are not for everyone. Released well before the retro craze of the 2000s, these types of sets received cool receptions from most collectors, who still prefer to concentrate on the hot prospects and superstars of today.  One would assume that no set is loved by everyone, but this kind of release has always attracted a small but loyal following. As mentioned above, baseball sets featuring Conlon photos would continue to be produced through 1995. Most of them are inexpensive to purchase today, with the '33 N.L. A.S. set being valued in the $10 range.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the Conlon sets can follow this link to Alan's excellent blog, The Conlon Baseball Card Collector.

Random Fact: Four players featured in the set were still alive when the cards were released. Wally Berger and Carl Hubbell both died in November of 1988, right around the time this set was retailing in the market. Bill Terry passed away in January of 1989, and Hal Schumacher passed in April of 1993 at the age of 82.

Click here to hunt for World Wide Sports Sets on eBay

(1) Wally Berger, Boston Braves
(2) Guy Bush, Chicago Cubs
(3) Ripper Collins, St. Louis Cardinals
(4) Spud Davis,  Philadelphia Phillies
(5) Dizzy Dean, St. Louis Cardinals
(6) Johnny Frederick, Brooklyn Dodgers
(7) Larry French, Pittsburgh Pirates
(8)  Frankie Frisch, St. Louis Cardinals
(9) Chick Fullis, Philadelphia Phillies
(10) Chick Hafey, Cincinnati Reds
(11) Carl Hubbell, New York Giants
(12) Chuck Klein, Philadelphia Phillies
(13) Fred Lindstrom, Pittsburgh Pirates
(14) Pepper Martin, St. Louis Cardinals
(15) Joe Medwick, St. Louis Cardinals
(16) Anthony Piet, Pittsburgh Pirates
(17) Wes Schulmerich, Philadelphia Phillies
(18) Hal Schumacher, New York Giants
(19) Riggs Stephenson, Chicago Cubs
(20) Bill Terry, New York Giants
(21) Pie Traynor, Pittsburgh Pirates
(22) Arky Vaughn, Pittsburgh Pirates
(23) Paul Waner, Pittsburgh Pirates
(24) Lonnie Warneke, Chicago Cubs

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