Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) will celebrate the upcoming centennial of Cracker Jack baseball cards by displaying two of the finest known 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack sets with a combined value of nearly $2 million at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Il., July 31-Aug. 4.
PSA also will have special promotions at the show involving a new book about the historic cards, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, and a display featuring what PSA officials describe as "the 1915 Babe Ruth card that never was."
"This will be one of the most interesting displays we've ever presented at the annual convention. We'll be commemorating the upcoming 100th anniversary of the first Cracker Jack baseball cards and displaying for the first time in public a specially-commissioned painting by renowned artist Arthur K. Miller of how a 1915 Babe Ruth Cracker Jack card might have looked. We're also giving away, while supplies last, thousands of free copies of the National Sports Collectors Convention edition of Sports Market Report magazine," said Joe Orlando, president of PSA.
"We're very excited about the Cracker Jack book because we believe in the positive impact that quality content can provide the hobby," said Orlando who wrote the book's foreword and final chapter.
"PSA is more than just authentication and grading. We believe information and education about our hobby are important, and that's why we provide quality information, such as books and the free, online encyclopedia, www.psacollectiblefacts.com, to improve the hobby and cultivate new collectors."
Copies of The Cracker Jack Collection book will be given free to attendees at the show who sign up for the PSA Collectors Club or renew their current membership.
All visitors to the National can meet the authors, Tom and Ellen Zappala, and have their
books autographed at the PSA booth (#854) at the following times: Thursday through Saturday, August 1 - 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Sunday, August 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
One of the contributors to the book, John Molori, will also be available for autographs on Friday and Saturday, August 2 and 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Visitors to the PSA booth at the 2013 National also can see the Babe Ruth Cracker Jack card "that never was."
"The centerpiece of the display will be a original mixed media on canvas artwork by well-known sports illustrator Arthur K. Miller (www.artofthegame.com). At the request of PSA, he has created an artist's conception of what a Babe Ruth 1915 Cracker Jack card might have looked like based on a period photo of Ruth in his Boston Red Sox uniform. Ruth was not included in the 1915 Cracker Jack set, and this amazing artwork stunningly depicts the great Ruth card that never was," said Orlando.
In addition to the free copy of the Cracker Jack book, the first 500 visitors who sign up for PSA Collectors Club membership or who renew their membership at the show will receive a free, limited-edition fantasy card of the artist's 1915 Ruth Cracker Jack image. The cards were specially produced by Memory Lane Inc. and are housed in PSA holders with consecutively-numbered labels, 1 to 500.
For additional information about the 34th National Sports Collectors Convention, July 31 - August 4, 2013, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont, Illinois, go to www.nsccshow.com.