Baseball Cards of the early 20th Century
Like many men my age, I was an avid collector of baseball cards growing up. Mostly contemporary cards from the late '70s to the early '80's, but when I had some extra money you could find me in a card shop, flea market, or garage sales looking for older, more valuable cards. My prized possessions at the time included a less-than-mint 1969 Mickey Mantle:
Sure, it wasn't the 1952 Rookie card my father told stories of using in his bicycle spokes, but it was quite a coup for a 12 year old none the less.
I was absolutely thrilled to come across a Mike Schmidt rookie card at a flea market for 15 bucks:
I thought I had figuratively stolen a Mint Condition 1963 Pete Rose Rookie card that was going for around $600 at the time (MT Rose RC's sell for as much as $15,000 today) for 50 dollars:
As you can probably imagine, a week or so later I heard the news about counterfeit Rose rookies flooding the industry. I immediately took the card to an appraiser and received the news I knew was coming...the card wasn't the real deal. Dad was right when he said "If it sounds too good to be true, it is". Live and learn.
Probably my most unique was a 1979 'talking baseball card' of Bobby Thompson. This was an oversized card that actually played the call from Thompsons "shot heard round the world" on a 33RPM record player:
There was no way I could afford to acquire originals from the early days of baseball cards, but I was fascinated with the history of them beyond just collecting them.
When I was a kid, baseball cards were often referred to as 'bubble gum cards' as they came with a stick of bubble gum. The Original baseball cards were promotional give aways with Cigarettes.
The 1887 Allen & Ginters tobacco cards are generally considered the first significant release in the hobby. The 10 baseball card set was part of a larger overall set that included 5 different sports...including riflemen:
...the rest of this 5 page blog can be read here