Saturday, July 16, 2011

Musial added to premium checklist

Only the third known subject in a set that is cataloged as 1947 Champ Hats Premiums has been confirmed. And it's a dandy -- Stan Musial.

The discovery was reported by one of the hobby's pioneer collectors/dealers, Gar Miller of New Jersey, who has been active in the hobby since the 1950s. The Musial premium was found in a recently purchased collection.

The Champ Hat premiums are 8" x 10" blank-back, black-and-white picture cards. The only two players previously known in the set were Mickey Vernon and Dixie Walker.

The set was arbitrarily assigned (by me) the issue date of 1947. That was based on a line of type below the player's name that identifies him as a "Champ Batsman".

The Brooklyn Dodgers' Walker led the National League in batting average in 1944 and 1947. Vernon, with the Senators, led the American League in batting in 1946. Musial led the senior circuit in 1943, 1946 and 1948 (also four times in the 1950s).

If the sponsoring hat company was being literal about the pictured players being batting champions, 1947 still looks like a good bet for the issue date. If that's true, we may someday see a Champs Hats premium for 1947 A.L. leader Ted Williams . . . although he wasn't really a "hat" guy.

Miller says he will probably consign the Musial discovery piece to a future hobby auction. You can visit his web site at .

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