Presented is a very rarely offered complete set of 1888 H. D. Smith & Company Baseball Gum Card die-cuts, highlighted by Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers, Charles Comiskey, Ned Hanlon, Sam Thompson, and Deacon White. This uniquely designed issue features nine players from the American Association’s legendary St. Louis Brownie Champs and nine players from the Detroit Wolverines. It is one of only a few full-color baseball issues from the nineteenth century and also one of the most distinctive and unusual of all early baseball card sets. For decades, the set was referred to as "Scrapps" or "Scrapps Tobacco," but recent extraordinary newspaper archive research has finally allowed for the definitive identification of the issuer: H. D. Smith & Company, a Cincinnati Candy and Gum manufacturer. The hobby has long known that these die-cuts were not actually issued by "Scrapps Tobacco" (as no brand of that name has ever been found) but we personally never thought we would ever learn exactly how they were issued. The fact is, they were actually issued as premiums with gum! All eighteen cards have been professionally graded and encapsulated by PSA (except one SGC as noted). These cards were intended to be glued into scrapbooks and almost always have glue stains or paper residue on their reverses. The minor reverse glue stains are responsible for PSA grading these cards very harshly. All have an appearance superior to their assigned grades, in many cases far superior. This is a beautifully assembled complete set of all eighteen cards from this very colorful and unusual nineteenth-century die-cut issue.
PSA Grading Composite: One EX 5: O'Neill. One VG-EX 4: Hanlon (HOF). Nine GOOD 2: Bennett, Brouthers (HOF), Dunlap, Foutz, Getzen (SGC GOOD 30), Robinson, Rowe, Welch, and White (HOF). Six PR 1: Bushong, Caruthers, Gleason, Latham, Richardson, and Thompson (HOF). One Authentic: Comiskey (HOF, tape repair on reverse).
This set is really composed of two nine-card subsets, featuring nine players from the 1887 American Association's champion St. Louis Browns and nine players from the 1887 National League's champion Detroit Wolverines. These two teams met in the World's Championship Series of 1887 (a forerunner to today's modern World Series) immediately following the regular season. Detroit (then known as the Wolverines) won the fifteen-game series ten games to five and was declared "Champions of the World." This is one of the few full-color baseball issues from before 1900 and also of the most unusual and displayable of all early baseball-card sets. Total: 18 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).