Wednesday, March 26, 2008

1954 Wilson Franks

Finding cards in food packages is nothing new. Manufacturers were doing it before most of us were born. Some may think that Jimmy Dean or Ralston Purina or Hostess started this trend. Untrue!

Tracing the origins of baseball cards back to its roots, we find that cards were issued as throwaway items as some incentive for choosing one brand over another. We can find that practice still going strong today. It's just evolved into something more elaborate.

The first commercially mass-produced cards were for a sporting goods company called Peck & Snyder. They issued cards of team photos with an advertisement for their company on the back. They were handed out, for free, on street corners.

In 1954, Wilson Franks distributed cards inside their packages of hot dogs. It was a 20 card set that featured 4 White Sox cards.

4 - Ferris Fain
6 - Nellie Fox
7 - Johnny Groth
14 - Paul Richards

The first thing that I noticed was the color of this set. It's eye-popping and eye-pleasing. The subjects look vibrant and lifelike. Whoever designed these cards definitely put their art degree to good use. This is one of the best looking sets of 1954.

All 20 cards feature a package of Wilson Franks somewhere in the top half of the card. Some packages are bigger on certain cards. I'm not sure if that was intentional or some kind of cropping was done. Paul Richards looks like he's really pondering that package of Wilson Franks in his line of sight. Maybe that what was for dinner that night.

The original cards are astronomically priced. There are beautiful reprint sets out there. I should pick up a reprint in place of the originals until I could afford them. You can see the entire virtual set here.


dayf said...

It's a nice looking set, but I agree, a hundred bucks for an Andy Pafko card is a little rich.

Reprint sets are the way to go for a lot of these obscure or prohibitively priced older sets.

White Sox Cards said...

Definitely! The only White Sox card that I don't think I can get an original of eventually is Nellie Fox. The others I might get lucky in finding a bargain.

I love the look of this set!

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