Pre-War Bargains: George Sisler 1925 Turf/Boguslavsky Card
The 1925 Turf/Boguslavsky set featured champions and record holders in all sorts of sports. It was released in the UK and isn’t widely known here, though, like other issues, it’s gotten a little easier to spot with the invention of the internet and eBay.
Produced by Alexander Boguslavsky Ltd. in London, the set is made up of two series, each containing 25 cards, and was distributed by Turf Cigarettes. While many of the sports aren’t widely collected here in the U.S., the most important card is a baseball issue featuring Hall of Famer George Sisler.
George Sisler Card
The Sisler card has a great image on a horizontal layout. His name is not on the front of it, only the word ‘Baseball,’ representing the sport. So if you were thumbing through singles from the set, you probably wouldn’t immediately identify it as a Sisler card. But he is featured in the writeup on the back, clearly making it a Sisler issue, unlike some of the more ambiguous issues, such as the Babe Ruth Churchman/Imperial Tobacco card. That card seemingly pictures Ruth but does not name him.
The back of this card describes Sisler as a record holder for the highest batting average in the American League’s history when he hit .420 in 1922. The card is actually an error as, while Sisler did hit .420 that year, Nap Lajoie hit .426 with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901. Nevertheless, Sisler is credited with the record.
The back also mentions his inclusion on a $100,000 monument that was to be created. As I wrote here, it even had some loose Hall of Fame ties.
This is a great bargain card in every sense of the word. While Sisler did appear on a fair share of cards, his career was sort in between the popularity of the earlier caramel cards and the 1930s gum phase. As a result, he’s not on as many cards as someone of his stature probably deserves.
Despite that, this card is still a pretty good bargain, mostly because it’s not known to a large number of collectors. Dealers certainly ask more with Buy it Now prices, but you can sometimes find it in auctions or from overseas sellers starting in the $15-$25 range.