Monday, March 25, 2019

1949 Leaf Premiums

We have here a vintage oddball card release. It didn't come out in the usual way, so there are not an abundance of copies floating around. It's larger than the typical card releases of that time, so there was less chance of kids getting their hands on them. They didn't feature current players, so most kids of that time wanted little to do with them.

These cards measure 5 5/8 inches by 7 1/4 inches. They are quite large even by today's standards. They came at the bottom of boxes of Leaf gum cards. Most kids didn't know about them considering these cards were underneath twenty-four packs of gum and cards at a nickel a pack. Kids probably were even less likely to read the advertisement on the back of their Leaf cards. One would have to turn in ten wrappers to get the premium cards. Some kids were probably tenacious about it, most kids probably couldn't be bothered.

These cards are sepia colored and feature a facsimile autograph and a short biography on the front. The backs are blank.

The checklist was only ten cards, but had eight different players.

The White Sox had one card in the premium set.

Ed Walsh

The other unnumbered players were, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Mickey Cochrane, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, John McGraw and three different Babe Ruth variations. The cards are rare today, but they can be found if you're really looking to own them. The toughest to obtain are the Babe Ruth variations (especially a blue background without text) and the Lou Gehrig.

These definitely flew under the radar in 1949. It's really cool to to see such an odd set released at a time where baseball cards were just starting to gain traction again after World War II. I probably appreciate the players checklist now more than most kids back then did. I have an appreciation and admiration for the game in all eras. I have since I was a kid. Most kids are just looking for the current superstars of the game.

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