This set was made by Monarch Corona and is copyrighted. It is most rare!
The set includes 8 cards. The players depicted are Buddy Myer, Lou Boudreau, Lipman Pike, Mose Solomon, Al Rosen, Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg and the famous U.S. spy Moe Berg.
As a spy working for the government of the United States following his baseball career, Moe Berg traveled to Yugoslavia to gather intelligence on resistance groups the U.S. government was considering supporting. He was then sent on a mission to Italy, where he interviewed various physicists concerning the German nuclear program. After the war, Berg was occasionally employed by the OSS’s successor, the Central Intelligence Agency.
Al Rosen was a four-time All-Star and American League MVP (1953) for the Cleveland Indians. In addition to being the MVP, he was named the Major League Player of the Year in ’53. Though he only played 10 years in the bigs, Rosen had more than 100 RBI in five consecutive seasons.
Rosen began by playing third base and the outfield. Eventually he played every position outside the battery.
Sandy Koufax is the greatest left-handed pitcher in history, at least in our book. He pitched for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 12 seasons, being named an All-Star in each of his last six years. In his last five seasons, he averaged a 1.95 earned run average, leading the league every year in that department.
In his last four campaigns, he was the Cy Young Award winner every year. In that span, he won 97 games and lost just 27. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
Lou Boudreau was a seven-time All-Star playing with Cleveland, just like Rosen. He finished his career with a couple of seasons with the Red Sox. Though he was a great shortstop, Lou filled in at the other infield positions and even caught a few games.
The 1948 AL MVP is a member of the Hall of Fame. But that’s not all. He also managed for 15 seasons, including 10 years as a player/manager. In addition, he was a radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs.
Boudreau is also credited with inventing the infield shift, utilizing it first against Ted Williams.
Buddy Myer played 17 seasons, all but 1+ with the Washington Senators. He boasted a .303 career batting average, eight times hitting the .300 mark. He was primarily a middle infielder in the 1920s and ‘30s. However, he did play 219 games at third base and another couple dozen contests in the outfield. Amazingly, Myer walked more than twice as many times as he struck out in the American League.
Lip Pike started his career in the National Association in 1871. He joined the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1875. A year later, St. Louis joined the National League. Pike hit “only” .323 that season, one of his worst to that time. In just 10 years, he had six .300+ averages. Among his best were a .377, .355, and .346. His career mark was .322. The outfielder was among the Top 10 in slugging percentage for seven years and was a home run threat. During the “dead-ball era,” he once clubbed seven dingers to lead the league (which he did four times).
Mose Solomon had a short career, but one of the coolest nicknames, “The Rabbi of Swat.” Hitting .421 with 49 home runs for the C League Hutchinson Wheat Shockers in 1923, Solomon caught the eyes of the New York Giants. They brought him up at the end of the season, and he played in two games, ripping a double among his three hits for a career average of .375. Alas, his poor play in the outfield, where he made an error, doomed him to the minor leagues again.
Among Hank Greenberg’s nicknames (Hammerin’ Hank and Hankus Pankus), he was mostly known as the “Hebrew Hammer.” The Hall of Fame first baseman was a two-time MVP with Detroit and is considered one of the greatest power hitters of his generation.
After four straight All-Star years (1937-1940), Greenberg only played 19 games in 1941 before entering the military. He lost nearly four years of playing, but returned midway through the 1945 season to hit .311.
In 1947, Pittsburgh bought Hank from Detroit. He would play one year with the Pirates, walking a league-high 104 times before retiring with a .313 career mark. His .605 career slugging percentage is still the sixth best in MLB history, as is his 1.017 OPS.
The cards are magnificent, particularly the backs, which resemble parchment paper. Just how hard is it to find cards of all these players? Pike is only listed in sets of Jewish players, Solomon’s only other card, also from a Jewish set, shows him at a great distance, and the next major publisher after 1940 of a Moe Berg was in 2009. You may find a couple of these cards singly, but here is the whole set.
Pictured are both sides of the Sandy Koufax card as well as the fronts of Hank (Henry) Greenberg’s and Moe Berg’s cards.