Saturday, May 10, 2008
St. Louis Browns Baseball Currency
I think I first saw these among the Zmotive stuff and wasn't sure what to make of it. While I assumed they were a form of advertising, I wasn't sure specifically what their purpose was until I did a little research today.
Over at Old Cardboard, there's quite a bit of information about baseball currency. In a brief summary, they say that these were an "unnumbered set of 'currency' advertising trade cards" that "carried (an) advertising overprint for numerous advertisers." The fronts had "team owner or manager in oval on left" while the backs had "team woodcuts (composite images of players)."
The cards were 3 3/8 inches by 7 3/4 inches in size and were issued from 1887 until 1893. Three teams (St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit) were featured in the set and there are currently eight different team/year combinations known to exist. The St. Louis cards are the rarest of the set.
The above photos are of the 1887 and 1888 St. Louis Browns cards.