Produced in roughly 1929 by Kashin Publications of New York, the R316 set was distributed in single-card packs, as well as in four packs of 25 cards (with the Babe Ruth card included in each box). Each card features a crisp, black and white photo, many of which were taken by Charles Conlon and many of which were subsequently used for the illustrations of the 1933 Goudey set. Each of the blank-backed cards has a facsimile signature and team/league designation printed on the card front.
Complete Kashin sets are extraordinarily rare. In fact, as of this writing, just one complete, graded and registered set exists: this one. The reason for this lies both in the difficulty of the cards to obtain in general, and the four extraordinarily difficult “short print” cards, thought to be those of Bump Hadley, Jesse Haines, Henry Seibold, and Phil Todt. Those four cards were allegedly removed from the 25-card boxes to make room for Babe Ruth, so that each of the 25-card boxes would contain a card of the Great Bambino. As such, the “short print” cards are much more difficult to obtain than the others (which are not easy to find in their own right). In fact, the total graded population of each of the four cards between SGC and PSA is as follows: Hadley (4), Haines (6), Seibold (4) and Todt (15). When the total graded population of Kashin cards exceeds 2,600, one can see how difficult those four cards can be.
Beyond the difficulty of assembling a complete Kashin Publications set, however, is the astounding GPA of this particular set. In addition to being the only complete, graded set known, the set weighs in with a GPA just shy of EX-MT 80, ranking this the highest of all the active, graded sets on either registry, with just one set on PSA’s “All Time” list achieving a higher GPA (but remaining incomplete at 100 cards, missing the Henry Seibold). The set’s components grade out as follows:
SGC MINT 96 (2 cards): #43 Waite Hoyt (HOF), 58. SGC NM/MT+ 92 (5 cards): #13 Earl Combs (HOF), 49, 50 Joe Judge, 77 Red Ruffing (HOF), 83, SGC NM-MT 88 (24 cards): #4 Moe Berg, 7, 11, 12, 14, 19, 20, 24, 33 Lefty Grove (HOF), 40, 45, 51, 54, 61 Heinie Manush (HOF), 68 Herb Pennock (HOF), 72, 76, 78, 79 Babe Ruth (HOF), 82, 89, 94 Lloyd Waner (HOF), 96, 101 SGC NM+86 (6 cards): #1, 2, 8 Jim Bottomley (HOF), 46, 53, 65 SGC NM 84 (21 cards): #3, 5, 9, 21, 22 Urban Faber (HOF), 26 Jimmy Foxx (HOF), 28 Lou Gehrig (HOF), 29 Charlie Gehringer (HOF), 30 Goose Goslin (HOF), 31, 37, 39, 44, 48, 52 Chuck Klein (HOF), 63, 64, 69, 70, 85 Al Simmons (HOF), 97. SGC EX-NM 80 (23 cards): #6, 10, 18, 23, 25, 27 Frankie Frisch (HOF), 32 Burleigh Grimes (HOF), 41, 47, 55, 56 Fred Lindstrom (HOF), 57, 60, 62 Rabbit Maranville (HOF), 67 Mel Ott (HOF), 73, 74, 75 Edd Roush (HOF), 84, 86, 87, 92 Pie Traynor (HOF), 93 Dazzy Vance (HOF). SGC EX+ 70 (7 cards): #17, 42 Rogers Hornsby (HOF), 71 Sam Rice (HOF), 80, 88 Bill Terry (HOF), 90, 100 Hack WIlson (HOF). SGC EX 60 (7 cards): #35 Chick Hafey (HOF), 38, 59, 66, 95 Paul Waner (HOF), 98, 99. SGC VG-EX 50 (1 card): #34 Bump Hadley (short print). SGC VG 40 (2 cards):#80 Henry Seibold (short print), 91 Phil Todt (short print). SGC POOR 10 (1 card): #36 Jesse Haines (HOF – short print).
This is an astonishing set, with more than 60% of the cards grading NM or better, and all four rare short prints present and accounted for. For a variety of reasons mostly related to the country’s poor economy, 1920s baseball card sets are typically unattractive and are typically underrated in the collecting community; the 1929 Kashin issue is, in the opinion of many, far and away the most attractive set of its era. Loaded with Hall of Famers and outstanding photographic representations of the stars of the day from one of the best-known sports photographers of all time, the 1929 Kashin set has quite a bit going for it, and this is the finest of all the known, graded Kashin sets. The cards are scarce enough that SMR does not offer value on any cards from the set, however, the most recent sales of a NM-MT Ruth and NMT Gehrig alone eclipsed $5,000 combined.
This is an outstanding photographic representation of the key players at the dawn of the Live Ball Era, including some of the most popular players to set foot on a baseball field, and the single greatest professional ballplayer of all time. It is the only complete, graded set on register, with all four rare short prints represented, and it is the highest-grade example of this set currently on any Registry. A rare and outstanding collection.