1923 Lections Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Lections
Year 1923
Size 2 1/2″ x 4″
Images Black and White
Type Miscellaneous
Number in Set

1923 Lections Overview

T23L Ruth.jpghe 1923 Lections are a somewhat curious issue.

In the 100ish years these cards have been around, we’ve got plenty of bits and theories surrounding their existence. But nearly a century later, there are plenty of mysteries left.

Here’s what we think we know about them. PSA states that a batch of them was found in Albany, New York, and they are often cited as being part of a New York election. What election isn’t 100% clear but, the cards were said to have been given to children while adults received similar cards, but featuring actual candidates during an election. That information even conflicts with other information that has been out there. Heritage Auctions, for example, also cites the Albany find, but believes they are probably a candy issue. Even the exact dating is unclear as the cards could have been issued in 1924 or even over a period of several years.

The cards have rounded corners and look similar to a membership card or credit card. The Lections name is printed at the top above a cartoon image of a baseball game. Off to the side is a player’s image inside of an oval frame with his name and team at the bottom. Backs of the cards were blank. The Lections name was printed in either green or orange ink.

Babe Ruth 1923 Lections HolesThese cards are extremely rare and even beaters command high values, even after a somewhat large discovery of them by comparison in 1997. This Ruth with punch holes all through it, for example, still sold for $500. Cards with punch holes in them, in fact, are highly common.

The origin of the holes, like the origin of the cards in general, is a mystery. They could have been punched as some sort of a contest. Or maybe they were punched by vendors at an event signifying something like an attendee stopping by a booth. Or, as a regional issue, it’s even possible that many were in the hands of only a few collectors, who simply did the damage themselves, similar to what we’ve seen with the infamous Toy Town stamped-cards. Whatever the reason, you’ll often see them filled with holes, such as this Babe Ruth card here.

Why are the cards so valuable, even in terrible condition? Well, this is a case of rarity, plain and simple. The cards are not easy to find and people collecting the players in them or trying to piece together a set will pay through the nose for them, sometimes in virtually any condition. There are a total of ten cards in the set and currently, PSA and SGC have not even combined to grade 100. That’s not about 100 per player, that’s the total number of any cards, period.

The rarity sounds ludicrous at first. But when you realize that these were an issue that were possibly issued only in Albany and for a very short period of time, it makes much more sense.

Mistakes in the Set

The set included only ten cards but it still had several mistakes.

One significant typo in a name exists as Rogers Hornsby reads ‘Roger.’ In addition, the photos of Bob Meusel and Emil Meusel appear to have been switched around.

The most egregious error, however, may be the one on Frank Chance’s card. Chance, who was manager of the Boston Red Sox, was actually listed as the manager of the White Sox. When you add it all up, four of the ten cards have mistakes on them.

1923 Lections Checklist

  1. Frank Chance
  2. Howard Ehmke
  3. Frankie Frisch
  4. Rogers Hornsby
  5. Charlie Jamieson
  6. Bob Meusel
  7. Emil Meusel
  8. Babe Ruth
  9. Charles Schmidt
  10. Bob Shawkey

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