It’s my birthday so I think a Ty Cobb, my favorite player, is appropriate today. Charles
Jim Dougherty writes that he recently visited the impressive Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Library in Greenville, South Carolina. It sounds like a wonderful place for baseball fans! Jim was kind enough to take a photo of a couple Helmar Joe Jackson cards that he noticed in a display. He also described an annual old style ball game between the Jackson and Cobb museums that sounds like it would be fun to participate in. Here’s a link to the Jackson Museum and one for the Cobb Museum. Thanks, Jim!
* Late Addition: Speaking of Shoeless Joe, the National Pastime Museum has a great article focusing on what some of the Black Sox did after they left the big leagues. They include a great image of a Joe Jackson painting that they commissioned from Helmar. The painting was also used to produce our Boston Garter card of Joe. Check out the article, you will enjoy it!
Our first Boston Garter prototype cards are finished and I’m quite pleased. The cards are huge at 8.5″ x 4.25″, which was the size of the original 1912 series. I’m planning of having 42 cards in the set but haven’t finished selecting the players. Paintings are already completed for a Wagner, a Mathewson, a Walter Johnson plus a few more.
The Cobb prototype was really fun to make; the huge size is a nice change of pace. The only problem is that I can’t decide which color sweater that I like best. What do you think? This week I will auction a red sweater version. Click to visit our auctions in another window here.
To jump directly to our auctions of Hand-Made art cards, click here
|Helmar Cabinet-1||Alexander, Dale||Portrait||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Helmar Cabinet-2||Baker, Frank||Throwing||PHILADELPHIA ATHLETICS|
|Helmar Cabinet-3||Bissonette, Del||Portrait||NEW YORK GIANTS|
|Helmar Cabinet-4||Bluege, Ossie||Portrait||WASHINGTON SENATORS|
|Helmar Cabinet-5||Bush, Donie||Portrait||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Helmar Cabinet-6||Carrigan, Bill||Swinging||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Helmar Cabinet-7||Cobb, Ty||Stealing||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Helmar Cabinet-8||Evers, Johnny||Portrait||BOSTON BRAVES|
|Helmar Cabinet-9||Ewing, Buck||Portrait||NEW YORK GIANTS|
|Helmar Cabinet-10||Freud, Sigmund||Portrait||NONE|
|Helmar Cabinet-11||Fullenwilder, Phifer||Portrait||NEW YORK GIANTS|
|Helmar Cabinet-12||Jennings, Hughie||Action||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Helmar Cabinet-13||Johnson, Walter||Portrait||WASHINGTON SENATORS|
|Helmar Cabinet-14||Mathewson, Christy||Portrait||NEW YORK GIANTS|
|Helmar Cabinet-15||McBride, George||Portrait||WASHINGTON SENATORS|
|Helmar Cabinet-16||McGraw, John||Portrait||NEW YORK GIANTS|
|Helmar Cabinet-17||McIntyre, Matty||Throwing||CHICAGO WHITE SOX|
|Helmar Cabinet-18||Meyers, Chief||Portrait||BROOKLYN ROBINS|
|Helmar Cabinet-19||Navin, Frank||Portrait||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Helmar Cabinet-20||Ruth, Babe||Portrait||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Helmar Cabinet-21||Schaefer, Germany||Portrait||WASHINGTON SENATORS|
|Helmar Cabinet-22||Tinker, Joe||Portrait||CHICAGO CUBS|
|Helmar Cabinet-23||Wagner, Honus||Portrait||PITTSBURGH PIRATES|
|Helmar Cabinet-24||Wood, Joe||Standing||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Helmar Cabinet-25||Youngs, Ross||Portrait||NEW YORK GIANTS|
|Helmar Cabinet-26||Cobb, Ty||Swinging||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Helmar Cabinet-27||Wambsganss, Bill||Portrait||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Helmar Cabinet-28||Williams, Cy||Portrait||PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES|
|Helmar Cabinet-29||Zimmerman, Heinie||Arm outstretched||CHICAGO CUBS|
|Helmar Cabinet-30||Miller, Otto||Portrait||BROOKLYN ROBINS|
|Helmar Cabinet-31||Jackson, Joe||Hands on hips||CHICAGO WHITE SOX|
|Helmar Cabinet-32||Buffalo Bill Show Indian Chief||Bow & arrow||BUFFALO BILL SHOW|
|Helmar Cabinet-33||A Congress of American Indians||Poster style||BUFFALO BILL SHOW|
|Helmar Cabinet-34||A Company of Wild West Cowboys||Poster style||BUFFALO BILL SHOW|
|Helmar Cabinet-35||A Congress of Cuban Insurgents||Poster style||BUFFALO BILL SHOW|
|Helmar Cabinet-36||Savage, Barbarous & Civilized Races||Poster style||BUFFALO BILL SHOW|
Here they are, listed by the highest auction prices realized over the past twelve months. It is nice to see that these top cards are spread over the several different series that we’ve been working on.
Rank Amount Series Card # Player Name
1 $315.00 R319 49 Ruth, Babe
2 $305.00 R319 93 Cobb, Ty
3 $302.00 Helmar Die-Cut 14 Clarke, JJ; Young, Cy; Bradley, Bill; Joss, Addie;
Easterly, Ted; Flick, Elmer;
4 $294.00 Helmar Imperial Cabinet 11 Jackson, Joe
5 $286.69 R319 49 Ruth, Babe
6 $281.56 E145 2 Ruth, Babe
7 $277.00 R319 94 Lloyd, Pop
8 $274.00 R319 117 Mantle, Mickey
9 $265.00 R321-Helmar 2 Jackson; Williams; Risberg; McMullen;
10 $257.52 Imperial 18 Wagner, Honus
11 $246.02 E145-Helmar 2 Ruth, Babe
12 $244.27 E145-Helmar 1 Wood, Joe
13 $237.50 Helmar Imperial Cabinet 17 Ruth, Babe
14 $236.46 T206-Helmar 10 Cobb, Ty; Wagner, Honus;
15 $235.50 R319 129 Mantle, Mickey
Let’s take a quick look at these two new paintings by Sanjay Verma, both of underrated, early Detroit Tiger stars. The cards made from these paintings will be high numbers in our R319-Helmar art set. The first painting is of Harry “Slug” Heilmann, who roamed Tiger outfields from 1914-29. Heilmann, who enjoyed a lifetime .342 batting average, had four single seasons with averages between .393 and .403. Not bad. He is depicted in his 1927 road duds, the only season this particular design was used. It was also the first campaign in 22 years that did not have Ty Cobb on the team. Along with being a Detroit legend as a player, Cobb had also managed the team for the previous 6 seasons. He had been forced to leave under somewhat shady circumstances, so perhaps once more a uniform change indicated a change in team direction.
I am mystified why the style lasted only one year; the Tiger head logo brought some color to the field. Perhaps it was felt that the tiger didn’t appear ferocious enough; the animal does look a bit ill.
The second painting is of Heilmann’s teammate and fellow outfielder Bobby Veach. Veach played all but two of his 14 years in Detroit, finishing there in 1923. For the life of me I can’t understand why Veach isn’t more valued among collectors. He had a .310 lifetime average, for cripes sakes, and led the league several times in important categories. Over the 1913-23 years, which were the years in which he was a starting player, he led the majors in runs batted in. I suppose it is partially because his career inconveniently fell between the collecting booms of the 1909-15 and early 1930’s eras. Anyway, he is pictured in this high numbered card with his 1920 home uniform. The stylized “D” chest logo was used from 1918-20, though the combination with the white cap would place it definitively at 1920.
Heilmann and Veach, each pleasant men, got along well until the 1921 season. In that year, new manager Ty Cobb instructed Heilman, then 26, to regularly yell at and insult the older Veach (33). The general idea seems to have been that the goading would inspire Veach, known as very easy going, to new heights of play. Cobb promised to reveal the plan, and Heilmann’s reluctant part in it, at the end of the season. It was a successful plan, at least partially. Veach batted .338 with 128 runs batted in. However, Cobb refused to own up to the ploy at the appointed time. Veach refused to believe Heilmann’s story and held a deep grudge against him for years afterward. Both men retired to the Detroit area after their playing days were over, with Veach eventually owning a coal company.