|Johnny Callison and Gene Mauch|
1965 Ceramic Tiles
As reported earlier, at last weekend's Philly Show I came across some nice, vintage Phillies memorabilia. One of the most interesting were three heavy, 6"x6" ceramic tiles featuring Phillies players from the 1960s. Each featured a color player photo from the shoulders up along with a facsimile autograph on a white background. Jim Bunning was offered for $125 and Gene Mauch/Johnny Callison were at another booth for $200 and $300! I had never run across these tiles before and neither vendor could tell me much about them except that there were two versions - one with cork backing and another without that was meant to be hung on a wall. Both also thought they were issued in 1964, though with the inclusion of first baseman Dick Stuart, we can date the set to 1965.
The 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball cards lists the complete set as $600 (NM)/$300 (EX)/$180 (VG). The most single player tiles are Bunning ($125) and Dick Allen ($100). Based on what I saw at the show, Bunning was "book value" and Callison/Mauch were wildly overpriced. Of course, true value is what someone is willing to pay - so, maybe for the the right collector the price was good. I thought these were very cool and I'll be searching for them (at closer to book value) in the future.