Rare CSG-certified Baseball Cards from the Richard Merkin Collection Offered by Hake’s Auctions
Posted on 5/20/2021
For the first time ever, Hake’s Auctions is offering vintage baseball cards from the famous Richard Merkin Collection. Certified Sports Guaranty™ (CSG™) graded and encapsulated the cards with the Richard Merkin Collection pedigree, further distinguishing these rare baseball cards that feature players of the US, Latin American and Cuban leagues. Bidding for the Sports Online Auction #5 is open, with the sale concluding on May 27, 2021.
Vintage Baseball Cards in the Sale
Hank Thompson caramel card
One of the top lots is a rare 1948-49 El Indio #36 Hank Thompson graded CSG 1 (lot 269). This small card has a black and white photo of Hank Thompson and player information on the back. These cards were collected through the purchase of El Indio caramels.
Early in his career, third baseman Hank Thompson was a star hitter for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro American League. In 1947, three months after Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, Thompson started playing for the American League’s St. Louis Browns (today’s Baltimore Orioles). He finished his career with the New York Giants (today’s San Francisco Giants) and was part of their World Series victory in 1954. In his nine seasons, Thompson was a .267 hitter with 129 home runs and 482 runs batted in.
Alejandro Oms cigarette card
Another vintage card in the sale is a 1926-27 Aguilitas #778 Alejandro Oms graded CSG 1 (lot 222). This card features centerfielder Alejandro Oms with Spanish text about the cigarettes on the back.
Alejandro Oms played in the Negro Leagues and the Latin American Leagues, including with the Cuban Stars (East). In the Cuban league, he played winter ball and won MVP in the 1928-29 season. With a batting average of .345, Oms was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1944.
CSG encapsulates smaller cards like these with a custom sleeve inside the CSG holder.
About Richard Merkin
Richard Merkin was a renowned artist and illustrator for the The New Yorker, Harper’s and The New York Times and taught at Rhode Island School of Design. An image of him can be found on the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
Merkin was also known for his eccentric collecting habits, especially baseball cards from the 1800s to the 1950s. After assembling the largest known collection of Cuban baseball cards, his collection grew to include the Latin American Leagues and the Negro Leagues. Merkin passed away in 2009, and his collection is now being offered by Hake’s.
Other CSG-certified highlights from the Richard Merkin Collection in this sale include:
- a 1926-27 Aguilitas #756 Ricardo Torres graded CSG 1.5 (lot 215)
- a 1926-27 Aguilitas #752 Jose Maria Fernandez graded CSG 1 (lot 214)
- a 1923-24 Billiken Buster Ross graded CSG 1 (lot 208)
- a 1923-24 Billiken Rogelio Crespo graded CSG 1 (lot 204)
- a 1923-24 Billiken Joseito Rodriguez graded CSG 1.5 (lot 207)
- a 1916-20 W-Unc Big Head Ping Bodie Hand Cut graded CSG Authentic (lot 311)
- a 1949-50 Acebo Ferrel Anderson graded CSG 1.5 (lot 270)