Advertising Booklet one of Dizzy Dean’s Rarest Collectibles
A rare advertising booklet featuring Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean is not easy to find
Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean was one of baseball’s greatest pitchers in the 1930s. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career after a somewhat brief run of dominance. The majority of Dean’s games were played from 1932 through 1937 but that was still enough to land him in Cooperstown. During that stretch, Dean was a four-time All-Star, won a Most Valuable Player Award, and led the league in a slew of single-season categories, including wins, win percentage, complete games, shutouts, strikeouts, and even saves.
Because the majority of his career was played in such a short span, Dean is not found on many cards — particularly compared to other Hall of Famers that had longer runs. And that’s why a rare advertising booklet has even more significance.
I’d never even heard of “The Dizzy Dean Helmet” until only recently. And if you look for information on the product today, you won’t find it easy to come by. Other than a few small references, I found nothing on it. But a rare booklet gives us a little bit of insight.
This advertising booklet is part Dizzy Dean biography and part advertising mechanism. However, the advertising portion of it is actually very small.
The front cover pictures Dean with in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform wearing a particularly strange looking helmet. It’s titled, “Dizzy Dean, His Life Story.” The inside of the booklet is a two-page spread about being discovered as a baseball prospect, his time in the minor leagues, and ultimately, his pro career. The back continues a discussion of his career and while a date is not found on the booklet, it references his 1934 statistics, leading us to believe it’s either from 1934 or 1935. The booklet is a fragile collectible, printed on relatively thin paper. It is also ‘card-sized,’ measuring about 2 5/8″ by 3 7/8″.
The end of the booklet gives us a short advertisement for the helmet in question. But it doesn’t identify where it can be found or how much it costs. The advertising portion only states, “Big league pitchers have to keep cool at all times. Dizzy is shown here wearing his famous helmet — the hat that keeps the wearer cool at work or play.” And unfortunately, I’ve not seen anything of substance about the helmet. Because of that and the small amount of these you still see floating around out there, it makes you wonder if the helmet was only marketed regionally.
Assigning a value to this booklet is incredibly difficult. I’ve seen only a handful across the internet and it’s not something seen too often.