Card of the Day: 1924 Walter Mails Game Ray Kremer

Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates Card of the Day celebrates one of the best pitchers in Pittsburgh Pirates history, who was born on this date in 1895. Ray Kremer played his entire ten-year big league career with the Pirates, joining them in 1924, when today’s Card of the Day was released.

This is the third appearance for Kremer in this series. He deserves to be he more often than once a year, but I realized early on that I’d run out of card options quickly if I used him too often. He appeared here for the first time two years ago on his 1925 Exhibits card. His second appearance was a tougher to find card from the 1933 Butter Cream set. Kremer has a card in the very popular 1933 Goudey set, which I pass over each year for something tougher. Eventually I will get to that card. Today’s card choice is very tough to find. It’s from the 1924 WG7 Walter Mails Game set. It’s a very odd looking card, which makes it an interesting featured item.

Here’s the front of the card:

I remember the first time I saw this set, it was for this card. My first thought was that these must be pretty big cards because that image of Kremer takes up so little room on the card. As it turns out, these cards measure 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″, which is the same size as a standard card you get it packs today.

This is a very strange looking photo, besides the fact that Kremer takes up so little room on the card. I really have no idea what is going on here and I’ve stared at this card many times.  They inserted his picture into what looks sort of like a baseball scene, at least with the stands there. Plus it looks like a foul line starting from the bottom right corner. After that, I’m lost. This card lists Kremer with the Pirates on the side (more on that shortly), but then the photo claims he’s on the Oak Ball Club, which was his Oakland Oaks minor league team in the Pacific Coast League.

On the left side you see his name, team and position. There’s also the words “fan out”, as well as “with runner on base-stolen base”. This was part of a 57-card set that was a baseball game. That stuff on the side is outcomes for the game. From what I can tell, these were sold for a $1 for the entire set. If you can find one for a dollar now, buy it immediately. If you can figure out what that picture is supposed to be, please tell me immediately. These cards were claimed to be autographed by the manufacturer, but they are clearly facsimile autographs.

Here’s the back of the card:

While this back has nothing to do with Kremer, it’s still a very cool design with the five different individual baseball scenes, as well as the baseball theme for the rest of the design. This card also comes with a red back instead of blue. Supposedly the blue ones are harder to find. I didn’t mention it with the front because I wanted to show the back first. The corners here were rounded from the factory, like you would find on a normal deck of playing cards.

If you are interested in this odd/rare card of Ray Kremer, the scans you see above show the only one available on Ebay, with no sales over the last three months either. The price of this one is about $185 delivered after tax. There are actually zero sales for this set over the last three months, and only eight active auctions, with prices both below and above this price.