1933 George C. Miller Dizzy Dean

Many prewar baseball card collectors consider the early 1930s to be the “golden age” of card collecting; notably 1933, when several of the most popular and lasting sets of cards were issued.

In 1933, George C. Miller & Co. of Boston produced a 32-card set of the day’s stars, which received limited distribution at the time of issue.  Youngsters purchasing the candy (and thus the cards) could complete the 32-card set, and then redeem the cards for a “Fielder’s Mit, regulation American or National League Baseball or 1 Grandstand Seat to any American or National League Game (except World’s Series) at any Park.”  The cards would be returned, cancelled, with the prize the redeemer selected.

Cards were cancelled by the company in one of two ways – a series of hole punches (I’ve seen them in small, circular punches, or multiple punches forming the shape of a diamond), or by slicing off the bottom of the card with a scissor or blade.  As a result, many of the surviving R300 George C Miller cards are damaged with such hole punches, adding a level of scarcity to an already difficult set.  Indeed, only a half dozen or so complete sets have been assembled, most auctioned off in their entirety over the past few years.

Dizzy Dean was one of the great baseball heroes of the 1930s, leading the famed St. Louis Cardinals “Gas House Gang” to the 1934 championship with near-superhuman pitching (he pitched in 50 regular-season games, going 30-7 with a 2.66 ERA across 311 innings, and then pitched 26 innings in three World Series games against the Tigers).  His George C. Miller card is among his most desirable, and is one of the earliest cards featuring Dean.

This uncancelled card is well-centered with strong color and surface quality.  The back is clean but is slightly marred by the ink transfer that is common to this colorful issue, as wet sheets stacked atop each other occasionally bled ink onto the backs of the adjacent sheets.  The top right corner has a very feint crease, more visible on the back than the front, keeping the card out of an EX holder.

SGC has graded this card VG-EX condition, making it the highest-graded example of 16 R300 Deans graded by that company.  Their competitor, PSA, has graded 17, including three at the EX level, two at the EX-MT level, and one at the NMT level, putting this card in the 73rd percentile of all graded Deans.  Over the past several years, similar examples routinely sell in the $2,000 range.

This is one of the cleanest, highest-graded examples of one of the most popular Hall of Famers in a scarce and desirable set.  We’re pleased to feature the 1933 R300 Dizzy Dean in our inaugural auction this fall.

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