1954 Wilson Franks Baseball Cards

1954 Wilson Franks Baseball Cards

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This one of the most popular 1950s sets to be issued along with meat products, which is shown in its design and part of the reason for its condition scarcity. Most meat company sets of the era - Stahl Meyer, Hunter's Wieners, Khan's etc. - were issued regionally, but Wilson's was a national release.

Part of its charm is the design. Players are shown in a colorized posed or action shot against a solid background, with his name, team and position across the top. There is also a graphic image of a pack of hot dogs. While some of the photos are designed to make it appear the player is hitting or catching the package, some simply look like they're thinking about lunch - or are merely unaware that they're about to be hit in the back of the head by a flying package of franks. Card backs feature the player's name, position and team inside a black box at the top. There are two sections blow that. One contains vital statistics like height, weight and birthday, and the other has a short written biography. Two lines of statistics (1953 and lifetime) stretch across the bottom along with the Wilson name. The cards are not numbered.

It's a small set that contains only 20 cards. Six of the players are Hall of famers, which seems a little low for a 1950s set. However, since they were issued inside packages of hot dogs without any cellophane wrapper or other cover to separate them from the product, they are frequently found with stains. Additionally, some of the cards have been identified as tougher: Ray Jablonski, Paul Richards and Stan Hack. However, the biggest card of the entire set shows a great picture of Ted Williams, and that card accounts for a large chunk of the set's overall value.

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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

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