Saturday, October 23, 2010

1980(?) Union Novelty N.Y. Yankees

A collectors' issue that has heretofore remained uncataloged but that is found regularly on eBay and at card shows purports to have been issued by Union Novelty Co., Los Angeles.

The set features frequently-seen images of Yankees greats in a 3-1/2” x 5-1/2” black-and-white format. There is no indication of issue date. The cards may have been produced anytime between about 1980, when collectors' issues began to proliferate within the hobby, and 1995. The latter date was the year of Mickey Mantle's death, and authnticated examples of the cards bearing Mantle's autograph are known.

The cards were produced in two styles. One version has printing on front with the player name(s), references to the team and a card number from within a series of 20. Backs of this type are identical, describing the card as “one in a collection of nostalgic prints of famous athletes.” The second type has nothing on front except the player photo with a white border. Backs of this style are arranged as a postcard. There is no price differential between the types.

This is the checklist:

1 Mickey Mantle
2 Mickey Mantle
3 Mickey Mantle
4 Mickey Mantle
5 Mickey Mantle
6 Mickey Mantle
7 Roger Maris & Mickey Mantle

8 Mantle & Maris
9 Lou Gehrig
10 Lou Gehrig & Joe DiMaggio
11 DiMaggio and Bauer

12 Joe DiMaggio
13 Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio

14 “The Yankee Clipper” Joe DiMaggio
15 Roger Maris

16 Whitey Ford
17 Yogi Berra
18 “The Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig
19 Phil Rizzuto
20 Babe Ruth

A reasonable retail value for the set would be about $40. Single cards sell for $3-5 each.

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