In the aftermath of World War II, sports card manufacturers were just beginning to kick back into production, with 1948 sets produced by Bowman and Leaf, along with some smaller issues like Topps Magic Photo, Swell Sports Thrills, and the like. Many of these sets featured black and white photography, and many did not approach the level of quality that card-producing companies would reach just a few years later.
Amidst the approaching postwar boom, Eureka Sportstamps were one of the most attractive baseball issues. The stamps themselves were issued on team sheets measuring 7 1/2 x 10″, which could then be broken into individual stamps to be affixed in a stamp album that contained additional biographical info on each player. Featuring only National League players (along with the NL president and the commissioner of baseball), the Eureka set contained sixteen Hall of Famers among the 200 subjects featured.
Initially a thinly-traded issue due to its scarcity (and possibly due to a lack of AL players), the set is beginning to grow in popularity as collectors discover its beauty and difficulty. Intended to be affixed in an album, today they are frequently found torn, with back damage or missing glue. The challenge of assembling a set – or even individual cards – in high grade has helped increase the value of complete sets or large lots of these cards. Indeed, a complete high-grade set recently sold at auction for nearly $4,000 – considerably higher than the Standard Catalog‘s price estimate of $900.
Our October auction will feature a single lot of 25 high-grade PSA examples from the set, an excellent starter lot for someone willing to take on the challenge. Featuring a number of low-population stamps, the lot includes one PSA 10, eight PSA 9s, and sixteen PSA 8s – a perfect way to get a collector started on the quest to assemble a complete set of this obscure but beautiful regional postwar issue.
Please note that the stamp album depicted in this entry is not included in the lot – it’s simply here to show interested parties how the stamps were intended to be used.