OK…..where do I begin. We have a card with Christy Mathewson, a local hometown hero, and one of my all-time favorite players, just chilling in the dugout before the big game, wearing………some really nice garters. He’s leaning on his suitcase with his hand placed demurely behind his head thinking about………..flowers?????? The halcyon days, you gotta love them.
This card was part of a 16 card set released by the Boston Garter Co in 1912. You would get one card for each packet of 12 garters that you bought. That’s a lot of garter wearing! It consisted of one player from each team in both the American and National League. Some of the other players in the series were Tris Speaker, Hal Chase, Frank Chance, and Walter Johnson. Surprisingly there are not a lot of these cards around. There are only 2 known Christy Mathewson cards known to exist and one of them sold at auction several years ago for over $31,000. Hey, who wouldn’t want this card in their collection. The back of the card contained a checklist and an advertisement for Boston Garters that proudly states, “Holds your sock smooth as your skin.” And isn’t that what we’re all looking for in our garters?
It also says: TO ATTRACT A LOT OF ATTENTION -Place four, six, eight, or all sixteen ball players in your window and more men will stop at your store than ever before. I know I’d stop.
I guess the cards proved such a success that they issued another set in 1913
This time the garter gets equal billing with the ball player. We don’t see Tris Speaker wearing the garter, we see…..the garter….in all it’s glory. I think I saw this very same item in a Victoria’s Secret catalog, but it wasn’t called a garter.
Luckily, for the true hardcore garter wearers, the Boston Garter Co. released a 3rd set of cards in 1914.