“Pin-Up” of the Week: Yankee Stadium Opening April 18, 1923 Press Pin

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Speaking of going back in time.  How would you like to have been a member of the press assigned to cover the opening of Yankee Stadium?  On April 18, 1923 there was a lucky group of individuals that got to do just that.  On that day the Yankees played the Red Sox.  The Yankees won 4-1 while Babe Ruth hit a three-run homer.  It is by far one of those moments many fans wish they could have witnessed in person.

Press pins were first issued to members of the media in 1911.  Its a practice that continues to this very day when it comes to special events.  Members that were part of the press that day in 1923 received a special pin that granted them exclusive access.  Merchandise from this game is beyond desirable.  Very few of these pins have surfaced over the years making them top sellers when an auction house gets their hands on one.  Like a lot of other press pins at the time, this one was made by Dieges & Clust.  It’s value can range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1923 W515-1

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Earlier this week I was flipping through the channels one night and came across the show Pawn Stars on the History Channel.  I hadn’t watched that show for a long time so I decided to see what they were looking to potentially buy.

When I turned the show on, the first thing I saw was a man wanting to sell his PSA Gem Mint 10 1923 W515-1 Babe Ruth card.  He was asking $60,000.00 for it.  After calling in their “expert”, they determined the card probably wasn’t worth much more than $12,000.00.  The two couldn’t make a deal since their pricing was so far apart.  And that was that.

Not every vintage set is in high demand.  Even if its filled with Hall of Famers.  The 1923 W515-1 set is a perfect example.  There are (60) cards to this specific set.  They were distributed in strips of (10) cards at a time.  You can still find intact strips, but for the most part collectors cut them up.  For that reason, I think a lot of collectors overlook these cards.  The only way to get these cards apart is to hand cut them yourself.  I think whenever you leave the cutting to collectors, the demand goes down.  Collectors will always be more careful.  Plus you have no idea when the card could have been cut in the first place.  Someone could easily take one that was roughly cut decades ago and make it look nicer today.  Sets like this allow for a blurry line between hand cutting and trimming.

New York teams heavily fill this set.  In fact, (39) out of the (60) cards feature players from the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers.  Key cards include Babe Ruth #3 and #47, Ty Cobb #10, Walter Johnson #38, and Grover Alexander #39.