There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. And in sports collectibles and cards, the subject of the photo may easily be worth thousands of dollars. In this particular case it is a 1954 Red Man tobacco card of Yogi Berra. And it’s not just the card and not even just a Yogi Berra card with the tab still attached — it’s a whole 1954 Red Man tobacco case with the card inside wax paper.
Another old saying in the antiques and collectibles business is that you just never know what is going to come walking in on any given day. Seeing a Red Man card of Yogi Berra is not all that uncommon in a vintage setting. But seeing a full Red Man tobacco plug that is unopened with the Berra card visible is certainly a first.
This occurred at the Dallas Card Show in January 2023. The man who owned it was showing it off for interest, but the consensus on a valuation was less than finite. There is an idea of what the price would be to acquire it but this is a situation where the ultimate “value” may depend entirely upon who this is being presented to.
Buying an example of this Red Man Yogi Berra card on a standalone basis can easily be accomplished for under $100 if the card is ungraded and not in pristine shape. A PSA 4 graded example of the Yogi Berra card with its tab sold in December 2022 for $168.50, plus tax and shipping. But adding the Red Man unopened tobacco pouch is an unknown and there are not any easily identifiable auction results for any similar item.
If there have been any recent Yogi Berra sales that were inside a still-wrapped Red Man pouch of chewing tobacco, it’s elusive. On sale in 2017, via Mears Online Auctions, was for a 1954 Red Man All-Star Series of still-sealed tobacco pouch with a Gene Woodling card. The Woodling example fetched $686.00 after the buyer’s premium and after 13 bids on September 3, 2017. The Mears description said:
Very rare and extremely high grade example of a 1954 unopened Red Man tobacco pack with the Gene Woodling card intact. This “20-cent” pouch is sealed by the period tax stamp. Excellent overall condition.
There is no doubt that a Yogi Berra card should have more interest than a Gene Woodling example. The first question is what the multiplier should be for the name, and the second question should be what the discounting should be for the condition.
So, anyone have any great ideas what this particular scarcity of Yogi Berra and Red Man tobacco should be worth?
Please feel free to share whatever you have at jon at collectorsdashboard dot com via email.