Friday, July 8, 2011

Card Spotlight: 7-8-11

1903 - 04 Breisch-Williams (E107) #13 - Nixey Callahan

From the first major card set of the twentieth century, comes this week's spotlight card. I've always wondered what the first Chicago White Sox card was. I think I found the answer, but like most journeys into the past, there is no definitive answer, only speculation. Much of the answer lies in your definition of "card" and if there are any forgotten card sets lurking in the shadows.

As far as I am aware, this card of Nixey Callahan is the first ever card (based on alphabetical order) depicting a member of the Chicago White Sox American League club. I make that distinction only because the White Stockings name was used in the nineteenth century by the modern day Cubs. Barring a regional card set find from 1901 or 1902, this is where it all began for the modern day White Sox on cards. There were a few White Sox players issued as cabinet cards in 1902, but since they were 5 x 7 1/2 inches, I would consider them more as a supplement than an actual card.

I have searched for cards of the 1900 minor league White Stockings and came up empty. I have searched for the 1895 - 1899 St. Paul Saints on cardboard and have found none. I've searched for the 1894 Sioux City Cornhuskers immortalized on cardboard and have also failed to find anything. Until any of those pop up, this will be considered the first.

There are eight other Chicago White Sox cards in the E107 set, but those will be reviewed sometime in the future. This post is concerned with one card. Whether or not this is actually the first, it still is something to marvel at. Even if it is not truly the first card, no one will dispute that it is one of the first.

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