‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||White’s Tip Top Bread Baltimore Orioles|
|Size||3 1/4″ x 5 1/2″
|Number in Set
1921 White’s Tip Top Bread Baltimore Orioles Overview
Issues such as the 1921 Tip Top Bread set continue to provide proof of more uncatalogued pre-war cards still out there to find. Not widely known to the general public until Huggins and Scott auctioned some back in 2009, this is a set that is relatively new to collectors.
The cards are known both as Tip Top and White’s Tip Top. The White’s name is from the name of the bakery that distributed them. Tip Top was the particular brand of bread with which they were issued.
In 1921, this set of Baltimore Orioles cards was included in Tip Top loaves of bread. We know that thanks to an old newspaper advertisement that was discovered that mentions both Tip Top and White’s Bakery. A different player was issued each day and it is unclear how long the promotion went on. It also does not say how many were in the set or if players would be offered on more than one day.
The cards feature sepia-toned images of players from the Orioles with a white/cream-colored border. The player’s name and position is printed at the bottom as are the words, “Baltimore Orioles 1921.” Backs of the cards are blank.
This was not the first Tip Top Bread set, of course. The 1910 D322 Pittsburgh Pirates set commemorating the team’s 1909 World Series title is by far the more well-known release. Those cards are also much more plentiful compared to this set with under 50 graded copies.
The set is known for producing perhaps the earliest known card of Hall of Famer Lefty Grove.
Grove’s card is often said to contain a typo as he is credited as Lefty ‘Groves’ with an ‘S’ on the end. However, that is incorrect as Grove was actually born with the last name of Groves. And as indicated in this thread, he has other cards calling him Groves. At some point, the ‘S’ appears to have been ditched by him for whatever reason.
It should also be noted that this probably isn’t a true rookie card by the purest definition. Rather, it is a pre-rookie card as the Orioles were a minor league team.
Rookie card or not, the Grove card is highly desirable. One sold back in 2013 for nearly $20,000.
Even then, Groves’ card would have been identified as a good one to have as he was a star of the team, even at the age of 21. In 1921, Groves went 25-10 with the Orioles and had a 2.56 ERA. Incredibly, though, that record did not even lead the team. Jack Ogden was 31-8 with a 2.29 ERA and Tommy Thomas (24-10 with a 2.78 ERA) was right behind Groves in terms of statistical production.
1921 White’s Tip Top Bread Baltimore Orioles Checklist
Below are the known cards in the set. It should be pointed out that others may exist.
- James Aitcheson
- Max Bishop
- Rufus Clarke
- Ducky Davis
- Jack Dunn
- Ben Egan
- Harry Frank
- Lefty Grove (spelled Groves)
- Bill Holden
- Merwin Jacobson
- Rudy Kneisch
- Otis Lawry
- Wade Lefler
- Jimmy Lyston
- Fritz Maisel
- Lefty Matthews
- Jimmy Murphy
- Jack Ogden
- Jim Sullivan