Friday, August 23, 2013

A Vintage Card Auction: Jim Gilliam & the Bridegrooms

Love of the Game Auctions has a couple of great Dodgers related collectibles I wanted to share with you.

Below is a relatively unknown vintage Puerto Rican Winter League Baseball card of Dodger great Jim Gilliam.  This set was issued from 1950-51 by Toleteros in Puerto Rico, and are fairly scarce.  It has really only been in the last decade that the collecting world has taken notice of this set. 

One of the great things about this and other sets from the island is that it includes many Negro League players who do not appear in any other card set.  In fact, this particular set includes the only known Josh Gibson card in the hobby.  It is the Holy Grail of Negro League cards, and it's value matches its rarity.  There are only about a dozen known Gibson cards.

The below Gilliam card, although not as scarce as the Gibson card, is a tough find and counts as one of his earliest issues.  As you can see, he played for Cangrejeros de Santurce in Santurce, San Juan.  They currently play at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

UPDATE:  I've always thought there was something strange about this card, and now that I look at it again I can't help but think that Toleteros used the wrong photo.  The photo they used just doesn't look like Jim Gilliam.  Am I wrong?
(Auction Link)

The next item below is super rare.  It is a 1898 Cameo Pepsin pin of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms.  The Dodger team of that era, according to lore, were dubbed the Bridegrooms due to a large number of players who were wed at the same time.

This Cameo Pepsin pins measures 1 1/4" in diameter and still retains the original advertising insert on the reverse.
(Auction Link)
(Auction Link)

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