Thursday, October 11, 2012

Collection: Vintage 1905-09 Embossed Baseball Postcards


With the Baseball regular season at a close and a long winter ahead of us, I though I would spend the next several months featuring various Baseball cards and collectibles in my collection that I have yet to share.  Heck, I'll even put up some cards of the non-sports variety from time to time.

Starting off, please check out these vintage postcards that were originally published between 1905 to 1909.  These are generic Embossed Baseball Player postcards.  The American Card Catalog designates these postcards as PC792.  As you can see, they come in many different styles, with the gold tint variety being the most common (see the postcards on the top left).  The ballplayers are embossed so as to give them a 3D feel.  See an example of the reverse of a couple of the cards below.


There are 6 postcards to make a complete set.  Over the years, I've been gathering up as many different variations as I can find.  See all six in this post along with some of the different parallels that I have.

These postcards are very under appreciated in the hobby and can be found at very affordable values- considering their age.  They can commonly be found between $10 to $20 a piece.



My favorite version of these postcards are of the colorfully drawn variety.  See the postcard on the bottom left.  These are rarely ever found.


The scenes in these postcards are meant to be generic, but I can't help but think I've seen some of these in photographs.  In fact, the "play at second base" below originally comes from a Morgan Stationary Baseball postcard set called the "Red Belt Series" that features Cincinnati Reds players and was issued in 1907.  Although, the pic below is actually of a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Jimmy Collins.  From Vintage Ball's description of the Red Belt Series card.
Most puzzling in the Red Belt set is this card, entitled "Safe," which clearly captures an in-action pose of a Boston Red Sox player, leaping for a throw at second base. The word "Boston" appears across his chest and Boston's Huntington Avenue Grounds is evident in the background.

Even more intersting than the Boston locale is the player, himself, who has been definitively identified as Hall of Fame Red Sox third baseman, Jimmy Collins, who played for the team from 1901 to 1907 (and with the Boston Beaneaters before that). And, strangely, the image shows Collins in dress footwear, not baseball spikes. Even more strange is the fact that Collins played third base, not second in his illustrious career, yet this shot is clearly posed at second base.

The original black and white photograph from which this card was made (above right), was taken by renowned local photographer, Edmunds E. Bond, whose photo collection currently resides in the Boston Public Libarry. Curiously, this photo is from 1901 or 1905 depending on if you believe the identification in book "The Red Sox Century" or from the Boston Public Library. Why Morgan Stationery chose to use this image years later in an Ohio-themed postcard series is an unresolved mystery.



I wonder who these ballplayers are?




Check it out.  The catcher doesn't have a traditional catchers glove on in the postcard below.  How crazy is that?


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