Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cooperstown Visit - The Ultimate Card Set - Part 1

I mentioned in a prior post that I visited the Baseball HOF in Cooperstown last spring. It was an amazing trip I would recommend to anyone who loves baseball.  As you can imagine, there was tons of baseball memorabilia on display and supposedly there is 100X as much in the archives.  We all know that baseball cards are part of the allure and history of the national pastime and there were quite a few cards on display.  The most impressive was The Ultimate Set and I was lucky enough to capture pictures of all 25 cards.  I will split this into two posts, showing the first 12 here, if you want to take a guess at which cards appears in the second half leave a comment.

This placard gives a brief overview of the set.  Here is the text if the picture is a little tough to read:
 The Ultimate Set

Earl G. “Ken” Kendrick, managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has collected baseball cards since his childhood in the 1950s.  Kendrick’s success in business afforded him the luxury of tracking down and assembling his all-time favorite cards: 25 cardboard classics that comprise his “ultimate set.”

These cards are among the most desired in the hobby for many reasons.  Some cards represent childhood heroes, lasting symbols of a bygone era.  Others recall the game’s greatest stars and the seasons in which the shined brightest.  A select few among the most treasured rarities of all time, coveted by collectors young and old.  All are in stunning condition, crucial to the high-end baseball card aficionado.
Here is an overview of the first 5 cards in the collection.  Originally I was just going to capture the pictures this way but luckily I decided close ups were in order.  I am going to let the cards pretty much speak for themselves with a little commentary at the end.

1951 Bowman Willie Mays - PSA 9

 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax - PSA 10

 1949 Bowman Duke Snider - PSA 10

 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle - PSA 10

 1954 Topps Henry Aaron - PSA 10

 1909 E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson - PSA 8

 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth - PSA 8

 1910 T-206 Eddie Plank - PSA 8

 1954 Bowman Ted Williams - PSA 9

 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie - PSA 9

1909 T206 Honus Wagner - PSA 8

Here is an overview of how the Honus is displayed with a brief write up of its history.

1909 T206 Christy Mathewson - PSA 9

So there you have the first 12 cards of The Ultimate Set.  What do you think so far?  Do any of these not belong in your opinion?  As a Giants fan I obviously love the Mays and Mathewson cards but I also love the early 20th century cards and the Henry Aaron as favorites.  The condition of this collection is amazing.

In a few days, I will share the final 13 cards in The Ultimate Set, be prepared for some more cards from the first half of the 20th century in amazing condition. 


  1. It's just amazing that those cards over 100 years old are in such great condition.

  2. I love the H-O-F. Heading back this summer. Those cards.... amazing aren't they? '52 Mantle PSA 10 LOL wow

  3. Living 3 hours from the Hall, I've been there five times. In fact, I'm overdue for a return trip.

    Seeing cards there is one of my favorite parts. And of course, you can buy cards everywhere in Cooperstown. When I was a kid, it wasn't like that at all there.

  4. Cooperstown is amazing. I've been there twice and definitely plan to return. We made our rounds to all of the card shops.

    Night Owl : next time I will look you up !

  5. I've been there once - but not during the 2 years where I've lived in Northern NJ, only 3 hours away. I'd love to go for Larkin's induction this year, but my first kid is due that weekend! Cool to see cards in the museum!

  6. Wonderful post dear…………..keep posting!!!
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