Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Name That Card

Quick...can you identify this card?

It's okay if you don't recognize it right away, I'm not going to give out a pop quiz at the end of this lesson. Sometimes collectors don't know this one at all unless they've dealt with the cards at some point in the past. Would a back image help?

And here's the problem with this particular set. There are no stats, no advertisements, no copyright lines, no card numbers, nothing that might help give any concrete ID. Again, unless you've dealt with these cards, they may be a little bit tough.

Fortunately, you're a reader of this blog, and I'm happy to share this type of info here.

The birthdate might tip you off as to when a player might have been an active big leaguer...and for players born in 1907, that would be in the 1930s, when the gum companies started.

Sure enough, it's a Tattoo Orbit card from 1933. The name is a little misleading, though...they were made by the Orbit company and were sold in packs of Tattoo gum. I don't know how the names got twisted together, but I suspect somebody (Jefferson Burdick perhaps?) wrote the names down together and then entered them into the record that way.

Tattoo Orbit cards are a little scarce. They're much less plentiful than 1930s gum cards from Goudey and National Chicle. In addition, the set is smaller -- 60 cards -- and the cards themselves are smaller than most 1930s gum-issued cards. To to it off, there are four short-printed cards including one of Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby. Perhaps the fact that they're not easy to identify has affected their value.

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