Issued in 1886/1887 this tobacco card set contains 143 baseball cards, as well as cards portraying jockeys, actors, and policemen. A very colorful set, but poorly rendered, repetitive, and possibly drawn by someone who’s never seen a baseball game.
I would have loved to have been present when the Gold Coin chewing tobacco company came up with this idea. “Hey Johnson, your kid can draw pretty good can’t he?” “Yeah, but he’s only 10.” “Great, then we don’t have to pay him.”
So without further ado, some refrigerator worthy artwork:
Quite possibly the 1st attempts at air guitar. By my count there are at least 10 cards with the “air guitar” pose.
“Fly little birdie….fly.”
“Whoa….this ball is heavy.”
Throw up your hands/Stick out your tush/Hands on your hips/Give ’em a push/You’ll be surprised, you’re doing the French Mistake/Voila!-Blazing Saddles reference.
Several years ago this card was selling on Ebay for about $40. I was going to bid on it, and then I thought…why waste the money? Oyster Burns was a member of my DMB Cleveland Spiders team, and deserves a better looking card.
When I saw the policeman’s card, I was glad to see that they at least tried to make an attempt at an accurate portrayal, but then I saw the Chris Von Der Ahe card. Obviously separated at birth.
I’m sure there are a lot of collectors of this set, but beside the fact that these cards are over 120 years old, I don’t know why anybody would want these cards.