Cracker Jack Baseball Cards, ca. 1914
Appraised Value: $30,000 - $40,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
We contacted appraiser Simeon Lipman for an updated appraisal of this object in today's market. Brian Marren, who originally appraised this object, was unavailable.
• Current Appraised Value: $30,000 - $40,000 (Unchanged)
Appraisal Video: (2:08)
GUEST: They are my husband's dad's collection that we were given after he died, and we've had them for about 30 years, and I have two sons and so they've enjoyed looking at them, and we feel like they are part of our family. I know that he collected them. He had three brothers, and Uncle Harry told me that they didn't eat all the Cracker Jacks, that under the grandstands they collected the boxes and then got the cards.
APPRAISER: Okay, okay. Well, let me tell you a little bit about Cracker Jack baseball cards.
APPRAISER: They came out with two sets in that time period, 1914 and 1915. And the difference is big for collectors. 1914 you had to buy a box of Cracker Jacks and pull the card out. In 1915, you could order the full set of cards.
APPRAISER: And as I went through the cards in this particular album, you've got several Hall-of-Famers. There were some great Hall-of-Famers in those sets. You've got Joe Jackson in there, you've got Ty Cobb, you've got Honus Wagner. But there's one card that really makes it a spectacular collection of Cracker Jacks.
GUEST: Do I have it?
APPRAISER: And you do have it.
APPRAISER: And that card is the Christy Mathewson, and this card is a 1914 Christy Mathewson card. In 1915 is a different pose. It's a head shot, and you have the pitching pose from 1914. And by far the most scarce Cracker Jack card out of both sets. Which makes me believe a lot of these are 1914 Cracker Jacks. Adding this up and looking through the album, based on the condition, at auction, as is, this album is worth $30,000 to $40,000.
GUEST: Wow! (laughing)
APPRAISER: You like that?
GUEST: Oh, the kids are going to be on this right away!
APPRAISER: So you got a Cracker Jack surprise. They've always promised that, right? (laughing) Now, if the cards were not mounted in the album, they'd be more valuable. So if the 1914 Mathewson, for instance, was not mounted, in the condition I'm seeing in the album, that card alone would be worth over $20,000, $30,000.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.