McMurray: Reviewing “The Cracker Jack Collection” of 1914-15

From SABR member John McMurray at Sports Collectors Digest on September 16, 2013:

Considering the dearth of quality books focused on vintage baseball cards, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball’s Prized Players (Peter E. Randall Publisher, 2013) by Tom Zappala and Ellen Zappala with John Molori and Jim Davis is a welcome addition to the collecting field.

Not only does this 177-page book provide high-quality, full-color presentations of every card in the 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack sets, but it also complements these cards with a sense of context, discussing the roots of the product’s inclusion with Cracker Jack candy, as well as the differences between the two issues.

In keeping with the style employed by the authors in their earlier book, The T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories, the centerpiece of this book is the individual player biographies. Each player receives a roughly 500-word sketch that appears in conjunction with his respective Cracker Jack card. While much of each biography focuses on a given player’s statistical achievements, there are also many complementary off-the-field facts, including, for instance, that Joe Bush was a ventriloquist, that Al Demaree became a noted sports cartoonist and that Hans Lobert reportedly once raced a horse.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 18, 2013. Last Updated: September 18, 2013.