Card of the Moment #27
May 6th, 2010 by slangon

I snagged this little beauty a while back off of eBay and I was pretty surprised to have gotten it. The final price with shipping was about 8 clams. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, considering the condition of the card.

R-302-1 1943 M.P. & C0. #11 Jimmie Foxx

This is defiantly one of the more interesting items in my collection. It’s a 1943 M.P. & Co. card of Hall of Fame first baseman Jimmie (or Jimmy, as he appears on the card) Foxx. These cards were issued by the Michael Pressner and Company, a New York supply firm which issued these cards in 1943 and again in 1949. They were one of the few sets of cards to be issued during the war years due to shortages of ink and paper. They were issued in 8-card strips and sold in candy stores. (Sorry about the crooked scan. I was in a hurry. Also that tape is on the sleeve, not the card.)

The backs of the cards featured a brief write-up on the players career. On the 1949 version, the cards were numbered on the back as well. That’s how I know this one is from 1943. Another way to tell is that the ’43 and ’49 sets had slightly different checklists, and Foxx did not appear in the ’49 set.

I must admit when I first got this card, I was slightly worried about the fact that the back was a bit different from any of the backs that I had seen on the web. I’ve read in several sources however that there are many variations on both the fronts and backs of these cards. Also, the seller that I bought this from has over 30,000 feedbacks, with 99.9% positive feedback. I snagged a small sampling of different backs from around the interweb here.

You can click to blow it up. The back of the particular Foxx card that I have is closest to the Lou Bourdeau and Bob Feller backs on the left, but it doesn’t list his position. Considering how many variables there seem to be in the printing of these cards taken with the fact that the dude who sold it to me seems to be pretty reputable, I’m not too terribly worried about this card not being legit.

(Update: After I finished writing this post, I started to get curious, so I emailed baseball card authority extraordinaire, Mr. Bob Lemke, to ask if he knew of any similar back variations. While he could not answer my questions definitively, he did tell me this:

While I don’t have access to any other specimen of the 1943 M.P.& Co. Foxx cards for comparison, I don’t see any red flags on your cards. As you pointed out, there were several different formats for back designs in those sets. I think the lack of a team and position designation stems from the fact that Foxx was out of Organized Baseball for the 1943 season, before returning on a limited basis in 1944-45.

I think your card is alright.

That certainly makes me feel better.)

Interestingly enough, Jimmie Foxx actually sat out the 1943 season due in large part to rapidly diminishing performances. He came back briefly in 1944 and 1945 before retiring for good as a player. He worked as a minor league manager and coach, including managing the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League for one season in 1952. Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan (possibly the only reason I ever sit down to watch that movie when I see it’s on) in the movie A League of Their Own was largely based on Foxx.

Foxx died in 1967 at age 59 in Miami. Foxx was originally believed to have died of a heart attack, but an autopsy showed the cause of his death as asphyxiation from choking on a piece of meat.

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