Friday, March 14, 2014

Wanted: 2004 Topps Cracker Jack Blue Jays

If I haven't already mentioned it, most of my collecting effort over the last 10 years has been focused on pre-war baseball cards.  During that time I sporadically collected a lot of different things, having owned a decent range of types between 1908-1920.

As I'm getting myself reacquainted with the modern stuff, the designs of things like Topps Cracker Jacks, Topps Turkey Red and Topps 206 catch my eye.  As I was cataloging my cards, I was surprised to see how many of these "vintage" Topps issues I had.  Especially Cracker Jacks and Turkey Reds.  I'll talk about Turkey Reds in another post; let's talk about Cracker Jacks today.

These are great cards.  Seriously.  I have owned exactly 2 "original" Cracker Jacks in my life.  A 1914 Russ Ford and a 1915 Ted Cather.  The originals are very very thin and fragile.  But the design is awesome.  The bold red, the 'Cracker Jack' title, the unique photos.  When trying to simulate this issue Topps absolutely nailed it in my opinion.  They did their homework.  The design elements of the 2004 set match the originals almost perfectly.  Topps version is printed on significantly thicker stock, though, and the backs follow the 1914 version where they are not printed upside-down compared to the front.

My favour 2004 Topps Cracker Jack, I think, has to be this Roy Halladay, largely because of the pose:

To me, it's no coincidence the pose on Halladay's card so closely matches that of Christy Mathewson's 1914 card.  That Mathewson card is one of the toughest of the 1914 set, from what I understand.  Seeing these cards side-by-side leads me to wonder if any other 2004 poses were inspired by the 1914/15 set.  It would be interesting, to me, to see such a comparison.  In all honesty, I probably won't sit down and compare them myself for fear that I might get caught up in wanting to collect the set -- the 2004 version that is.  I already know I'd love to collect either the 1914 or 1915 set, but there's no way I have that kind of bank!

For now I'm quite content just to chase the 2004 Blue Jays anyway.  If you have any that are still on my wantlist, please drop me a line and maybe we can work out a deal.

Thanks for reading!


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