History was inadvertently made in 1908 when Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer wrote the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” What is remarkable is that the writers had never attended a baseball game and provided the best free advertising for any product – ever. The song could be heard first on vaudeville and then in multiple Hollywood movies scores. It was selected as one of the 365 top “Songs of the Century” by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America. Eventually, the most famous verse was heard during the seventh inning stretch of Major League baseball games for decades achieving unofficial anthem status.
‘Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd; Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, At the old ball game.”
We all know the words. We have all sung them with gusto being sure to scream out the name of our favorite “home” team.
Cracker Jack was touted as an All-American snack. The addition of baseball cards seemed like a natural choice but just two issues were ever produced – 1914 and 1915 – but they are two of the most popular sets of all time! The sets feature players from the long forgotten Federal League that existed for the same two-year period. In a sea of thousands of baseball cards, the blazing red backgrounds will always make Cracker Jack cards stand out and grab your attention. This is particularly true when the cards are in virtually mint condition or nicer. The roster ranges from the obscure like Elmer Knetzer and Ad Brennan to the all-time greats like Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and Joe Jackson.
Currently live on HA.com, the May 2019 Heritage Auction #50014 features the #2 All Time Finest 1915 Cracker Jack Baseball set of 176 cards. This remarkable assembly does not contain one card graded less than NM-MT 8. The overall weighted GPA is 8.21 or 8.51 with top bonuses. Thirty cards are graded MINT 9! That is a status shared by less than 2.5% of the almost 13,000 cards graded by PSA. This set is possible thanks to the passion of one veteran hobbyist and the mail-in offer for a complete set that was available only in 1915.