Monday, April 19, 2010

Favorite Cards: Cleveland Bronchos

1902-11 W600 Sporting Life Cabinets - Napoleon Lajoie

Cleveland Bronchos? Was that a Major League team? You betcha!

The Bronchos were the modern day Indians, from 1902 and 1904. Many team histories are littered with name changes and city changes. Some are acknowledged readily and some are an open secret. Some clubs' histories are full of changes from minor to major leagues. I will be focusing on Major League ball clubs. Each name change or city change will be treated as a new team for this series.

I was a bit surprised to run across this doing research on other topics last year. I wasn't aware that the Bronchos had any cards made. I haven't found examples of the Cleveland Bluebirds (or Blues) yet. I can find examples of every name change after the Bronchos name. The Bronchos card discovery amazes me.

I am a huge baseball history buff, so this is like the mother lode of coolness for me. There were three different cabinets made of Lajoie for this ongoing set. The earliest examples (listing him as second baseman), were issued in 1903. One in a suit and one in a uniform were issued. There is a third cabinet card issued between 1905 and 1911, which lists Nap as a manager and infielder.

To me, this is the coolest example of the card. It was issued before the official team name change in his honor and it is a photograph of Lajoie in uniform. The most famous Lajoie card is essentially an artist's rendition of a photograph. Seeing cards with actual photographs from this period in time gives me goosebumps.

1 comment:

--David said...

Oh, now that is frickin awesome!! Dude, what a find!! I am SO jealous!!

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