Saturday, February 28, 2015

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack

Tonight I've got my latest really old Red Sox acquisition to share with you...

If I ever get around to ranking my favorite pre-war card sets, which I doubt I'll ever do, 1914/1915 Cracker Jack would be right at the top of the list.  The cards are just beautiful.  Nothing against T206 or other tobacco sets (I love those too), but give me a Cracker Jack card over one of those any day.  As a Red Sox collector the red backgrounds on these are ideal, and I love the font used for Cracker Jack Ball Players along the tops of the cards.  To me, the coolest thing without a doubt is the fact that these things have survived for 100 years after being plucked from packages of snack food.

There were only a couple of baseball card sets issued at all in 1915, which is another reason I'm such a fan of these.  I'm fascinated by how different the world was exactly a century ago.  In the United States, women couldn't vote.  At the same time that some fortunate person pulled this card from a Cracker Jack box, Europe was engulfed in a nightmare unlike anything the world had seen to date.  The United States was just becoming a global superpower.  Charlie Chaplin was releasing films, and Harry Houdini was still plying his trade as a magician.  Babe Ruth hit is first career home run!

Hal Janvrin spent the year as he had the previous few, patrolling the infield with the Boston Red Sox.  He was your classic jack-of-all-trades utility player, playing every position but pitcher and catcher during his MLB career.  In 1915 he'd play second base, third base and shortstop for the Sox, with the bulk of the time coming at short.  He even got in an at-bat in the World Series, which the Red Sox won.  Must have been quite an experience for a then 22-year-old.

Janvrin was a member of the 1916 World Series Champion Red Sox team as well.  He saw regular playing time in that Series, and ended up with a handful of hits including three doubles, and drove in a run.  He'd go on to play with the Senators, Cardinals, and even the Brooklyn Robins before hanging up the spikes for the final time.

I'm very grateful to now have a third Red Sox card from this set.  With names like Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Connie Mack and Branch Rickey on the checklist I'm never completing the entire set.  That's a fact.  "Smoky" Joe Wood's card alone will probably prevent me from ever even completing just the Red Sox team set.  I don't come across them too often at all, but hopefully I'll stumble upon at least a few more of these where the price is right in my lifetime...

6 comments:

Hackenbush said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hackenbush said...

What can I say--Awesome!

Nick said...

Very cool! I've always wanted to own one of those Cracker Jacks.

Frankie.M said...

That's an awesome card!

Commishbob said...

Never say 'never. You just may pick up a few more some day. That's a fabulous card!

Mark Hoyle said...

Beautiful card.

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