This is a 1954 Red Man Chewing Tobacco Billy Pierce card. Pierce's major league career spanned from 1945-1964 and he spent the majority of it with the Chicago White Sox, although he was on the roster but did not appear for the 1945 World Series Championship Detroit Tigers team. Over the course of his career, Pierce compiled a record of 211-169 with an ERA of 3.27, and made seven All-Star appearances. There is a notable amount of controversy surrounding Pierce and his lack of enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Numbers seemingly depict a Hall of Fame career, however Pierce never received nearly enough votes during his five years on the ballot. A Veteran's Committee selection to the HOF is still a possibility. The White Sox retired Pierce's #19 in 1987 and honored him with a center field concourse statue at Guaranteed Rate Field in 2007. This card is valued at $6 to $10 by Beckett.
While Topps and Bowman battled for the pennies and nickels of bubble gum chewing youngsters from 1952-55, a tobacco company was hoping to snare adults. The Red Man baseball cards issued from 1952 to 1955 have been pegged by many collectors as one of the most beautiful sets of the 1950s. In addition to the sharp, colorful portraits of major-league stars, Red Man Tobacco cards came with a tab underneath the player’s picture. Tabs could be cut off, collected and redeemed for prizes, like a felt baseball cap; a collector would need 50 to claim the cap. In today’s collecting world, cards with tabs are more valuable. Part company advertising vehicle, part promotion and part standard baseball card set, Red Man cards have their fans today but are just enough outside the mainstream for prices to remain relatively affordable.
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