Card of the Day: 1915 Cracker Jack Shoeless Joe Jackson (RP-1993)

cjcrackerThere are a few things I am certain of when it comes to cards: 1) I will never be happy with what I’ve got, and 2) there are certain cards I know I will never own. As it pertains to the latter point, the 1915 Cracker Jack Shoeless Joe Jackson card, currently valued at $20,000 in so-so condition, is one of the unattainables.

It’s not that I do not want one, because believe me, I’ll take that over everything I’ve got now, but that thing is way too expensive. Even in the poorest condition, a collector will have to spend several thousand dollars to obtain said card. There is a nice-looking authenticated one on eBay right now and it’ll only run you $5,500. And this is for a card that likely has been trimmed. (I glean this from the “authentic” grade the card got.)

So today I present the next best alternative, the 1993 Cracker Jack reprint card. I’m usually not one for reprints, and at no time will I proudly display one as if it were real, but for a collector just looking to own one of the originals, this will have to do.

There are all sorts of reprints of vintage cards on the market, many of which are “Dover” replicas, which were produced in book format with perforated edges so that the purchaser can tear them out and display or trade them. And of course there are other replicas that do not state they are replicas, but clearly are not real due to the paper stock, color or otherwise. In both cases, there are unscrupulous eBay sellers “distressing” (running over them with a Mack 10 truck, rubbing them in dirt, burning edges, etc.) the cards to make them look old. And in many cases they are easily spotted by the guys who block the identities of their bidders for fear that someone may alert them to the nonsense. Warning: If it’s too good to be true, it is. And as a rule of thumb, buy vintage cards that have been graded, or at least from a seller whose background in vintage and can guarantee authenticity.

But there are also authentic replicas, which in a sense is what my Joe Jackson is. This is an authentic Cracker Jack card, albeit smaller than the original and produced 78 years after the real deal. In 1993, Cracker Jack released a 25-card replica set commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Cracker Jack company. Among them were reprints of the extremely valuable 1915 Cracker Jack cards. I obtained this one, as well the the ones below, in a large box of cards (mostly Sports Illustrated for Kids) at a flea market about five years ago.


Miller Huggins / Eddie Collins / Honus Wagner

I bought the box for $5 and resold the massive lot of 100-plus SI for Kids cards for $130, so to say I made out on the box is an understatement. While I found a few cards in the box for my collection, namely SI for Kids cards of Albert Pujols, Mickey Mantle and a few other legends, the Cracker Jack reprints were perhaps the coolest.

For the record, these cards are tiny, about the size of two stamps. And as for their value, my 2003 Beckett Almanac has this Joe Jackson listed at a mere $3. Not a bad deal for a “authentic” replica.

3 Responses to “Card of the Day: 1915 Cracker Jack Shoeless Joe Jackson (RP-1993)”

  1. I need to accept those two principles. I always think the next card will make me satisfied with my collection and I still think I’ll win the lottery and spend it all on memorabilia.

  2. Terry Wallen Says:

    1993 crackerjack reprints are nice.I have a complete set and almost another set I would like to sell.Perfect condition,have been put up.Any ideas where to start?

  3. chris valencia Says:

    hello im trying to find some info on miller huggins card i have…cracker jack ball players ,dover reprint…and want the value on this can you help me ?

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