1915 Cracker Jack Baseball Cards for Sale

1915 Cracker Jack Ballplayer PosterBaseball cards in Cracker Jacks? Strange perhaps, but you can find both 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack Baseball Cards for sale on sites around the internet.

In fact, these mini-sized cards have become a highly sought-after prize for card collectors.

Actually, this combination isn’t so strange. Think about the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame, which we often sing as a crowd during the seventh inning stretch. One line says, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack”.

The caramelized treat has been associated with baseball for many years.

1914 Cracker Jack Baseball Cards

Did you ever buy Cracker Jacks as a youngster and excitedly dig down into the box to find the toy? Remember how small the “toys” were.

Well, for the two years of 1914 and 1915, the Cracker Jack company created sets of baseball cards that fit the small toy focus. Each card measured only 2 ¼ inches by 3 inches tall.

There were 144 cards in the 1914 set. They were printed on thick paper instead of cardboard.

The player’s image was a color drawing and was set against a background that was a deep red color. Cracker Jack Ball Players was used as the heading on the cards.

The player’s name, team, and league affiliation were printed near the bottom on the front of the card. Top players were featured from the American and National leagues, as well as the then-existing Federal league, which lasted only two years.

On the back, the card number is listed along with a player biography. Additionally, there is an advertisement stating that there were 144 cards in the set.

1915 Cracker Jack Baseball Cards

1915 Cracker Jack card - SchalkFor 1915, a full set of cards included 176 players. This set has become more popular, primarily due to greater availability.

During that year, not only did Cracker Jack put an individual card in the candy box but they also made the entire set available through a mail-in offer. Due to this, more cards got out into the market.

Though the cards in the two sets are very similar, one key difference is found on the back side of the cards. As noted, the 1914 cards advertised a set of 144 cards. The 1915 cards noted that the new set included 176 cards.

One interesting feature of the Cracker Jack cards is that the paper on which they were printed served as the border of the card. Because of this, it is common to find bleeding of the image onto the card’s border. Counterfeit cards could not duplicate this feature and were thus relatively easy to detect.

Unfortunately, the beginning of WWI changed the focus of the company and the cards were dropped after two years of production. The limited production is one of the key reasons why these have become valuable collector’s items.

Hear a little more about Cracker Jack baseball cards in the following card collecting video:

No Babe

An interesting fact is that Babe Ruth is not included in either Cracker Jack set. In 1915, while still a young pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, he came into his own to win 18 games. He only pitched in 4 games during the 1914 season, however, and as a result he didn’t make the 1915 set.

Even without Ruth, the cards are highly sought after.

The 1915 set included a number of baseball greats such as Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Eddie Plank, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Cracker Jack Baseball Card Value

Which card has proven to be the most valuable, you ask? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s Joe Jackson. In 2006, an auction sale brought in a price of $52,638.80 for a grade 8 (of 10) quality card.

So, are there any of these cards for sale? Sure they are. You can find some in very good condition for sale online at Dave’s Vintage Baseball Cards or through Dean’s Cards.

A number of cards can also be found on EBay. Just be sure that you only buy the originals, not reprints created in the 1990s (you can tell by the asking price, generally).

Note that most of these cards are in the $75 to $400 range. If you are thinking of buying a card or two, compare the asking price to this 1915 price guide.

Summary

Are you interested in collecting cards that will probably still rise in value? Do you know anyone who owns any of these? What are your thoughts on these interesting sets?

I invite you to share your comments and thoughts in the comment area below.

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6 thoughts on “1915 Cracker Jack Baseball Cards for Sale”

  1. These card look very interesting. Thank you for writing a great article about the history of them. I have never owned Cracker Jack Baseball Cards, so it is good to learn something new.

  2. Thanks Abigail. I remember that Cracker Jacks came out with some newer cards (reprints of these plus modern players) in the 1990s. They aren’t worth anything. But these oldies really caught on with collectors.

  3. A marvelous article, Allyn, filled to the brim of the baseball cap with fascinating information! Do you think the popularity of Sheoless Joe Jackson’s card is due in part to the movie, “Field of Dreams”? Before that film came out, I didn’t know who Shoeless Joe was nor was I aware of the story behind the man.

    You have a smooth writing style that’s very comfortable to enjoy – thanks for the gift of this superb website; I’ll just keep coming back more and more =]

    Gwynn

    1. Great question, Gwynn. While “Field of Dreams” helped people know him, probably the greater reason was his involvement in the 1919 Chicago White Sox scandal, when 8 players from the team agreed to accept money for throwing the World Series. They were protesting against the stingy owner, Charles Comiskey. Joe never went to school and was illiterate his whole life, so while he agreed to be part of the scandal, he may not have been fully aware of what he had agreed to. In the end, he received only $5000 of the promised $20,000 for fixing the games and the next year he was banished from baseball. There have been a couple movies made about what is called the “Black Sox” scandal.

      Jackson had been one of baseball’s best hitters; praised by Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth for his abilities. He tried over and over to be reinstated in baseball but was never allowed. So, you see, he was a great hitter who only had a 9-year career.

      Availability of the card, along with his reputation, both contribute to the value placed on his baseball card. Thanks for your compliment. Come on back any time!

  4. Cool!
    I used to collect the Cracker Jack toys as a kid, and the Topps Baseball Cards (I knew the founder’s grandson), but THESE would have been a DREAM.
    Very interesting info. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You knew the founder’s grandson? How cool is that? Wouldn’t it have been interesting to hear some of the background and stories of Cracker Jacks? To hear about how these simple baseball cards grew so popular would be a dream. Thanks so much for sharing, Scott.

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