Flashback Product of the Week: 1954 Wilson Franks

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Hot dogs and baseball cards.  It doesn’t get much more American than that.  All this set is missing is a big red, white, and blue bald eagle on it.  Man.  If this set had one of those, I bet it could run for President.

Wilson Franks probably isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think of cards.  But in 1954, they issued one of the most popular food related products to date.  The 1954 Wilson Franks set is very small.  It consists of only (20) cards.  I wouldn’t let the small size fool you though.  If you want one that’s in nice condition, you’re going to spend a lot.  When these cards surface, they usually aren’t in the best of shape.  Most of the time the centering is way off.  Plus, many of the cards have stains on them.  The stains come from the way they were packaged.  Wilson Franks didn’t take the time to package the cards separately.  They simply packaged these cards right next to the hot dogs.  That’s where the stains come from.  There would be a lot more cards in better condition today if they would have issued them through a mail-in program.  But I guess they didn’t want to go that route.  What little kid wanted to wait for a card to come in the mail anyway?  The thought that these would be worth anything someday never even crossed their minds.

Hall of Famers like Enos Slaughter, Bob Feller, and Roy Campanella round out this condition sensitive set.  Cards of Ferris Fain, Stan Hack, and Ray Jablonski seem to be harder to find.  The most notable card is that of Ted Williams.  I’d have to say that my personal favorite thing about this issue is the hovering package of hot dogs.  In a lot of cases the player seems to be looking at it.

Remember… you never want to have wiener stains on your cards.

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