1933 George C. Miller Baseball Cards
Equal parts difficult and beautiful, the attractiveness of the 1933 George C. Miller Baseball set is enough to make many collectors ignore the overall rarity and still attempt to complete the set. Geared primarily toward children, the scarce regional release features 32 cards that were originally available in toffee packages from the Miller Candy Co.
Distributed in league-specific packages that were noted as "National Ball Game Toffee" or "American Ball Game Toffee," 1933 George C. Miller Baseball cards are moderately sized at 2-3/8" by 2-7/8". The set is officially recognized as R300 in the American Card Catalog. Among the 32 card checklist, each MLB team has two players featured. While that includes a good variety of talent from across the sport, the card choices for the New York Yankees are somewhat disappointing since they went with Red Ruffing and Bill Dickey as opposed to Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
While the fact that the cards were only issued in and around Boston is partly to blame for the scarcity, 1933 George C. Miller Baseball card numbers are further diminished because of a promotion. In exchange for a complete set, collectors could receive a baseball, glove or game ticket. Redeemed cards were returned with the selected item, but they were "cancelled" to prevent duplicate redemption. This took a variety of forms, including cut edges, hole punches and stamped marks. As a result, the redeemed cards that weren't discarded carry this damage, keeping the supply of cards graded above a six to a minimum.
1933 George C. Miller Baseball features a somewhat-generic, but still very impressive, artistic card design. In addition to a close-up image, largely with a forward posed shot, all 32 cards share a similar background. This includes a green field, bordered by woods, and a colorful sky. No text is found on the front of the cards.
The card backs leave little empty space, packing in basic stats for each player, a full checklist and information about the promotion. There are two different back designs available in 1933 George C. Miller Baseball, but the difference is minimal. The earlier edition, known as Type I, features larger text, brighter printing, and misspells Foxx and Klein in the checklist (Fox/Klien). Type II has the corrected spelling of the names and the text placement for the ad at the bottom does not match up the same as the first edition.
Although the majority of the 1933 George C. Miller Baseball checklist features Hall of Fame players, a non-HOF card causes the most problems for collectors. As was the case in several products that included prizes for complete sets, one card from the George C. Miller release was severely short printed. The card for "Ivy" Paul Andrews is very tough to find in any condition, and virtually impossible to locate without the damage associated with being cancelled. As such, many collectors treat the set as complete at 31 cards.
Key 1933 George C. Miller Baseball Cards
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1933 George C. Miller Baseball Set Checklist
Ivy "Paul" Andrews
Jerome "Dizzy" Dean
Leon "Goose" Goslin
Charles "Chick" Hafey
Charles "Chuck" Klein
Walter "Rabbit" Maranville
Frank "Lefty" O'Doul