Friday, February 22, 2019

A Don Newcombe Baseball Card/Memorabilia Checklist

With Don Newcombe's recent passing I thought now would be an opportune time to take a closer look at the various Dodger collectibles bearing his name. As you know, he joined the franchise prior to the 1946 season and remained Blue til being traded to Cincinnati in 1958. Following a few more years of play in the Majors and Japan he rejoined the club in the late-70's as the team's Director of Community Affairs -- where he remained until his death this week.

As you can imagine, there are plenty of cards and memorabilia featuring the 6' 4" righty (but not as much as you might think), so sit back and enjoy a more detailed look at some Don Newcombe collectibles. BTW, I decided to include only Dodgers-related items, so you won't see the Reds or Indians anywhere. Furthermore, I wanted to stick to just pre-80's stuff, so you shouldn't expect to find any modern cards in the listing below. On the other hand, I do include the handful of giveaways from Dodger Stadium (and elsewhere). I'll also update this post should any additional items unknown to me be unearthed.

Now, on to the memorabilia.

The very first item I could find that featured Don Newcombe is not a Baseball card. Instead, it's a stamp. Released in 1949 by a chain of Philadelphia gas stations, Eureka Sportstamps features 200 National League ballplayers and a stamp book (measuring 7 ½-by-9 ¼) to put them in. They also include Kodachrome photos on the stamps -- which was rare for collectors at the time. As you know, cards were either in black & white or color paintings. Below is a look at the stamp that has been pasted onto the album.

1949 Eureka Sportstamps 

Here's Newcombe's very first real Baseball card. Click on any pic to embiggen.

1950 Bowman - #23

A very scarce advertising postcard for Bowman's Cocktail Lounge on St. Nicholas Place at 155th Street, New York City. Featured are Roy Campanella, Dan Bankhead, Don Newcombe, and Jackie Robinson with Lawson Bowman.

1950 Bowman's Cocktail Lounge postcard

Since there is no clear and exact production date of this next item I thought it reasonable to just place it here. Below are the three different postcard-sized Exhibit cards featuring Don Newcombe. These cards were produced from 1947 to 1966 and sold for a penny apiece in arcade coin-op machines throughout the country. As you can see, there are two different Newcombe versions, and a variation that removes the Dodgers logo.

It's likely that these were actual made in the mid-50's, and the no-logo variation arrived after his trade to the Reds in 1958.

1947-66 Exhibit Supply Company -- no number and blank backed

Just like the Exhibits above, I am placing the pins shown below in this spot since an exact date of issue is unknown. It safe to say, though, that these came out in the 1950's. Commonly known to collectors as a PM10 pinback (as designated through the ACC - American Card Catalog), these celluloid pins measure 1-3/4" in diameter and were sold at ballparks throughout the country.

PM-10 1950's Pins

UPDATE: Here's an item I failed to include in this checklist. Like the above two items (Exhibits and PM10 pins) this item does not have an exact production date. They were large photographs (approx. 9-1/2" -by- 12") supplements sold through the popular Baseball Magazine. Here's a great article by Alan Kleinberger at Sports Collectors Digest about the photos.

1908-57 M-114 Baseball Magazine supplement

Following Newcombe's growing popularity, Fawcett Publications (maker of the Jackie Robinson comics from the same time period) produced a comic featuring the 1949 Rookie of the Year award winner. I have this in my collection, so I will endeavor to scan all of its pages and put it up on this blog. So, stay tuned for that next week.

1950 Comic - Fawcett Publications
Don Newcome - Baseball Hero

1950 September - Sport Magazine cover

1951 Bowman - #6

1951 April - Quick Magazine cover

1952 Bowman - #128

Sold primarily within the New York marketplace, Berk Ross was one of the first collectibles sold solely through hobby circles. Their inaugural set in 1951 was exclusively sold by a New York area vintage dealer named Bruce Yeko, and I have no reason to believe the 1952 set sold any differently. On another note, these cards were unlicensed. Noted hobby veteran Bob Lemke details his research regarding this here.

1952 Berk Ross

1953 Canadian Exhibit Supply Company - no number and blank back

1954 Bowman - #154

1954 April - Sport Magazine cover

1954 New York Journal-American

1955 Bowman - #143

1955 Golden Stamps - #2

1955 Robert Gould All Stars  - #21 - blank back

1955 Robert Gould All Stars Statue/Figurine

1955 Stahl Meyer Franks

1955 August - Sports Illustrated cover

1955 September - Baseball Digest cover

1955 September - Jet Magazine cover

Sized approximately 5" x 7", this paper thin photo was sold within a 12-player team set pack at ballpark concession stands and through mail order. The Newcombe pic below was used for the three sets indicated below.

1956 Jay Publishing - Brooklyn Dodgers
1956 Jay Publishing - World Series
1957 Jay Publishing - Brooklyn Dodgers

Finally! Don's very first Topps card.

1956 Topps - #235

The pin below was sold through a gumball machine for a penny in 1956. A total of 32 different ballplayers exist. Fellow Dodgers' in the set include Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider and Gil Hodges. These are very scarce and counterfeits/reprints do exist.

1956 Yellow Basepath Pins - #24

1957 Borden's Brooklyn Dodgers Ticket Promotion

1957 Topps - #130

1958-60 LA Dodgers Premium Pictures
art by Nicholas Volpe

Like the Jay's Publishing photos above, this thin paper photo sold at Dodger Stadium concession stands as a team set at the LA Coliseum. As you may know, Danny Goodman was a Los Angeles based marketing genius who made selling team-centric memorabilia a staple at sporting events throughout the world.

1958 Danny Goodman Los Angeles Dodgers

1958 Hires Root Beer - #13

1958 Jay Publishing Los Angeles Dodgers

1958 Topps - #340

1961 Topps #483

1966 James T. Elder Postcards - #526

1975 Topps - #194
1956 MVPs - Mickey Mantle / Don Newcombe

1975 O-Pee-Chee (Canadian Issue) - #194
1956 MVPs - Mickey Mantle / Don Newcombe

1975 TCMA The 1950's League Leaders

1977-84 Galasso Glossy Greats - #17

1979 TCMA 50's - #182

Bobbleheads & Giveaways

2004 LA Dodgers Giveaway 7/23/2004

2007 Brooklyn Cyclones Giveaway 7/22/2007

2013 LA Dodgers Giveaway 4/15/2013

2014 Replica Brooklyn Jersey LA Dodgers Giveaway 7/1/14

2015 LA Dodgers Giveaway 4/13/2015

2016 LA Dodgers Giveaway 6/8/2016

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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