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Baseball Advertising Trade Cards 3rd edition
The "Cadillac" Set — 10 Players

[This information is from pp. 50-51 of Baseball Advertising Trade Cards 3rd edition, copyright 2011 by Frank Keetz and is reproduced here with his permission. No part of this material may be reproduced for commercial purposes without the written consent of the author.]

Go back to: Contents | Index of Sets | Checklist of Sets: Set H 804-20 | ahead to: Checklist of Sets: Set H 804-21

The Tobin "56" Series (H 804-21) is often called, "The Cadillac of baseball advertising trade cards." All ten cards in the set have identifiable 1887 major league baseball player names and caricatures. Five of the players are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Serious baseball card collectors often disregard most trade cards except this set with its ten specific players. There is a higher demand for these cards.

Set H 804-22 (Tobin "147" Series) is a black and white set, otherwise identical to H 804-21. Set H 804-23 is a third Tobin set with a "149" identification number. Its images, however, show no resemblance to these other two Tobin sets. Sets H 804-1B and H 804-1D are also identified as relatively common Tobin sets.)

Adrian "Cap" Anson was a long-time first baseman and manager — mostly with Chicago. He was the first player to reach the 3,000 hit mark and was one of the earliest Hall of Fame selectees. Anson was not only a leader but simply "the greatest player of the 19th century." Highly respected by players and fans alike, he was, nevertheless, instrumental in locking out black players during organized baseball's formative years.

Just as famous was flamboyant, dashing Mike "King" Kelly who was as notorious for his off-field escapades as his on-field exploits. The nation was shocked when colorful Kelly, a baseball player, was sold by Chicago to Boston in 1887 for a then amazing $10,000. The "$10,000 beauty" raised his last Chicago average of .388 to .394 in his initial season with Boston. His daring base running, hard sliding and stolen bases inspired a popular "Slide, Kelly, Slide" song. Kelly's constant carousing led to a quick lessening of skills and an early death at age 36. Untold thousands of devoted followers mourned his passing at the funeral as well as throughout the nation.

Entering the Hall of Fame in 1945 with Kelly was mighty slugger Dan Brouthers who had a lifetime major league average of .349 while playing first base. Pitchers Tim Keefe and Mickey Welch both entered the National League in 1880 with Troy (later the Giants of New York and now the San Francisco franchise). Both ended their careers in the early 1890s with more than 300 victories. Keefe won 42 games in 1886 while Welch notched a career-high 44 in 1885. Keefe was the highest paid baseball player during the 1889 season when he received an astounding $5,000.

The players on the other five trade cards, while not Hall of Famers, were certainly no slouches. "Pebbly Jack" Glasscock was a good fielding major league shortstop for 17 years. Known for his fielding range, he also knocked out 2,079 hits while accumulating a .297 batting average. Ed Andrews lasted eight seasons as an outfielder, batted .325 in 1887 (the issue year of the trade cards) and led the National League in 1886 with 56 stolen bases.

Paul Hines, the oldest of the ten players, played four seasons before the National League's initial season in 1876. Those four seasons in the short-lived National Association plus 16 in the National League made him a 20 year veteran. Hines, who became deaf as a result of a beaning, had more than 2,000 hits which accounted for a batting average just above .300. With Providence in 1878, the center fielder was the major league's first "triple crown batter" (first in home runs, batting average and runs batted in).

Jim McCormick finished his major league career in 1887 with a 13-23 win-loss record. However, the husky Scotch-born hurler had a 252-191 record during the previous nine seasons, most of which were spent with Cleveland. Twice he led the National League in innings pitched with 657 in 1880 and 595 in 1882!. McCormick pitched 194 complete games over a three-year span (1880-1882). The team played a total of 250 games during that span. There were few relief pitchers a century ago! In fact, there were few starting pitchers a century ago!

Last, but far from least accomplished, was Charlie Ferguson. His was a tragic tale. He reached the majors at age 21, spent four complete seasons with Philadelphia compiling an impressive 99-64 win-loss record only to die in April 1888 of "typhoid pneumonia" at age 25.

Baseball advertising insert card for Betsy Ross Bread

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Baseball advertising insert card for Betsy Ross Bread

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At first glance a baseball advertising trade card. Turn it over. No, it is an INSERT card.

Go to top of page | back to: Contents | Index of Sets | Checklist of Sets: Set H 804-20 | ahead to: Checklist of Sets: Set H 804-21

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