Card of the Day: 1925 Exhibits Carson Bigbee

Today’s Card of the Day features outfielder Carson Bigbee, who was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates on this date in 1916, starting an 11-year career in the majors, which was spent solely with the Pirates. This is his second appearance in this series for Bigbee. The first time was back on his birth date in March of 2021, so we are a bit overdue for a second article on someone who spent 11 seasons in Pittsburgh. That first card was his 1922 Neilson’s Chocolate card. The pose on that card is used on numerous other cards from that same time period (1921-22). Today’s card came out three years later and it is much bigger in size compared to the 1922 card. It’s also a unique pose to this card as far as I know. Here’s a look at his 1925 Exhibits card.

Here’s the front of the card:

The 1925 Exhibits set has been featured here twice before already. It’s a nice go-to set from a World Series winning season for the Pirates. It has great photos and there really isn’t a lot out there from 1925. Not many cards were being produced at this time. As mentioned up top, these cards are much bigger than your standard card size now. They are 3-3/8″ by 5-3/8″, compared to the 2-1/2″ by 3-1/2″ size you usually find these days. The card manufacturer here is the Exhibit Supply Company, which is where they got the set name.

The last time we looked at this set it was for George Grantham, who is at the top of the list for underrated Pirates players. The first time it was Ray Kremer, who gets some attention in Pirates history due to his place among pitchers on the all-time lists for the franchise, as well as his strong pitching during the 1925 and 1927 seasons in which the Pirates won two National League titles and one World Series. Bigbee was just a bit player by 1925. He best seasons for the Pirates were 1918 through 1923. His 1922 season was extremely impressive and part of our Pittsburgh Pirates Seasons series.

The 1925 Exhibits set (and most other sets from the company) have the feel of being a postcard. There isn’t much of a design on front and the backs are blank. I like this set in particular because of how they present the little info they give on the card, which is true from all years that they produced cards, but some sets have a little more than others. This particular year has the full name, position and team name, as well as the mention that the cards are made in the U.S.A. You might notice that the team name says “Pittsburgh NL”, which is not uncommon for the era. Most teams during this time period were identified just by the city name. They didn’t always list NL for the Pirates because there was no other Pittsburgh team, but back in 1925, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, St Louis and Chicago all had American League and National League teams. Only 11 cities had big league teams back then (only including NL/AL for this example, but Negro League ball expanded that number by a lot), but minor league teams were everywhere, and if towns didn’t have either, they had semi-pro teams. Baseball was huge back during this era.

As for the card itself, I’m a big fan of it because it had a slightly different look. Almost everyone else is in full uniform, but Bigbee was photographed wearing a sweater. He still has the Pirates cap though. The sweater makes it difficult to say for sure what year the photo was taken. The Kremer card shows him in 1924, but the Grantham photo in this set was from 1925. So they didn’t just get all of the players on the same day. Some of the cards have a cool background, but you get none of that here.

This particular card doesn’t have any for sale right now. I know I usually pull scans off of Ebay, but this is one that I wanted to use because I like the different look with sweater instead of the jersey. I can give comparable prices in case one pops up. The cards are rare, but not to the point you could wait years to get one if you really wanted it. The set isn’t the most popular, which is probably due to the size of the cards. They don’t display as well as smaller cards and the graded holders are big. The average grade of these cards on Ebay is approximately Very Good/PSA 3/SGC 3 OR 40. Bigbee is a common card, so judging by other common prices, you should figure to pay about $50-$75 ungraded and around $125-$150 graded. As with any old card that isn’t easy to find, you might have to deal with someone who has been looking for it, and that will affect the price.