1923-1924 TOMAS GUTIERREZ COMPLETE SET OF 84 CARDS ALL SGC GRADED.
These 1-5/8x2-3/8" Cuban cards were distributed in packs of Diaz cigarettes. The cards in this set feature players from the 1923-1924 Cuban Professional League. 84 cards are in the set, the largest and one of the scarcest of all 1920s Cuban card issues. Cards are numbered 1-83 and 85, no card #84 is known. Card fronts are printed in dark brown w/photos and names while backs include card number and description of the series w/offer for an album. To our knowledge, there has never been a complete Tomas Gutierrez set offered for sale at auction. This is mainly due to the fact that the collected set was submitted for the aforementioned album and the assumption is that most of the cards were subsequently destroyed by the manufacturer. This hypothesis has some substantial weight when we look at the SGC/PSA population reports which, when combined, have not tallied a single card of at least 10 graded examples, most have just 5 or less examples, and many have just 2 known examples. The task of putting together a set of this magnitude cannot be underestimated. The set is highlighted by many Negro League stars as well as Cuban HOF players and five National Baseball HOF members. The two most sought cards in the set are #14 Oscar Charleston 20 Fair 1.5 and #64 John Henry "Pop" Lloyd 20 Fair 1.5. Prior to the sale of the famed “Richard Merkin Collection” over the past few years, the last “numerically graded” Oscar Charleston to sell at auction was a SGC 40 which went for $26,437 in 2008; the last “Pop” Lloyd to sell at auction was also in 2008 and the SGC 40 went from $8,283.75. In total there are six Negro League HOF cards in this set. In addition to “Pop” Lloyd and Oscar Charleston, Cristobal Torriente has two cards (#62 Habana and the ultra rare #83 reflecting his trade to Marianao), Jose Mendez and Andy Copper round out an unprecedented opportunity to obtain some of the rarest Negro League baseball cards in one swoop. But the set does not stop with these key headliners, it also includes a number of great Cuban HOFers as well as a group of key Negro League players that do not appear on any other cards. Some believe that a number of these players (Oms, Moore, Marcelle) will ultimately be enshrined in Cooperstown with the other five members already in the set. Key cards and their conditions include: #3 Frank Duncan 40 VG 3, #4 Eustaquio "Bombin" Pedroso 10 Poor 1, #5 Dave Brown 40 VG 3, #7 Rube Currie 10 Poor 1, #8 Jose Mendez 30 Good 2, #10 Frank Warfield 20 Fair 1.5, #11 Oliver Marcelle 30 Good 2, #12 Dobie Moore 10 Poor 1, #15 Alejandro Oms 30 Good 2, #17 Bill Holland 30 Good 2, #18 Oscar "Heavy" Johnson 20 Fair 1.5, #30 Armando Marsans 20 Fair 1.5, #36 Willis "Pud" Flournoy 20 Fair 1.5, #62 Cristobal Torriente (Habana) 10 Poor 1, #72 Clint Thomas 30 Good 2, #73 Adolfo Luque "A" Authentic, #76 Andy Cooper 20 Fair 1.5, #78 Edgar Wesley 20 Fair 1.5, #83 Cristobal Torriente (Marianao) "A" Authentic (Blank Back), the only card in the set we are offering with a blank back. The total breakdown of grades and number of cards in those grades are: 50 VG/EX 4 (7 cards), 40 VG 3 (19 cards), 30 Good 2 (19 cards), 20 Fair 1.5 (19 cards), 10 Poor 1 (9 cards), "A" Authentic (11 cards). Most of the cards present better than their technical grades and have been downgraded due to slight paper loss or residual marks that came from being removed from albums present only on the backs of the cards. All cards are shown below, both fronts and backs, so that you can inspect each one for condition. Our first photos are of the key card fronts, followed by all card fronts in groups for quick view and then the cards are shown in numerical order, front/back. To further emphasize the value of these cards, here are some prices realized for examples we have sold over the last few years from the Richard Merkin collection (we must stress that all of the Merkin cards were graded just "A" Authentic (with obvious trimming): #14 Charleston $6,995; #62 Torriente $6,590; #76 Cooper $4,427; #64 Lloyd $3,956; #8 Mendez $2,678; #65 Chacon $1,897; #11 Marcelle $1,391; #18 Johnson $1,380. Total of $30,000 in prices realized for just those 8 cards in our auctions. An incredible opportunity to obtain this very desirable set all at once rather than assembling it card by card as our consignor did, taking him years to do so.