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jefferyepayne 02-10-2015 04:00 PM

Ode to Pre-War Football Cardboard
I know there aren't a massive amount of pre-war football collectors out there. Sometimes this is because collectors don't actually know what is available to collect! I've even had conversation with football card dealers who are not aware of all of the pre-war items that are out there and available.

I thought it would be interesting to start a thread to show pre-war sets and items. As I like the history and people stories behind the cards, I'll try to add in a few interesting tidbits about the players and sets they are included in.

Let me start off with the first football card ever produced:

Harry Beecher is the only football card in the 1888 Goodwin Champions set. He was the captain of the undefeated Yale Bulldogs of 1887 and rushed for 66 touchdowns in his three years of college ball.

Beecher was the grandson of Rev. Harry Ward Beecher who was a popular pastor, lecturer, and anti-slavery activist during the 1800s. Rev. Beecher's sister was author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The football playing Beecher went on to become a sports writer, insurance agent, and retail company executive until he retired and became a farmer at 60 years of age. He lived to be 81 and died in Chicago near where his daughter lived.

Please jump in and add your own pre-war items when you can!


CowboysGuide 02-10-2015 07:55 PM

Great idea for a thread. I currently don't have anything to add, but I hope others will jump in with some real gems like that Beecher!

sockwell123 02-10-2015 08:28 PM

awesome card. and neat piece of history.

clamendo 02-10-2015 09:11 PM

1928 Star Player Candy

Includes many interesting cards including Paddy Driscoll HOF rookie,
Red Grange, and Joe Sternamann cofounder of the Bears. A challenge to find and complete.

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clamendo 02-10-2015 09:15 PM

1931 Walker's Cleaners Packers

Celebrates the three time Packer champions. Local Green Bay regional issue

Includes many HOFers none more famous than Curly Lambeau

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jefferyepayne 02-11-2015 06:03 AM

I've always loved your Star Player Candy set, Carl! For those not familiar with the set, these cards are EXTREMELY hard to find. Known total population for each card is less than five. They were originally called "Anonymous Candy" because nobody knew who made them. There is a baseball set of these as well that you will see more often. A while back there was a find of a complete box of these with cards still in the wrappers. I believe they were all baseball but the box promoted them as Star Player Candy and was from Dockman, Inc. out of Baltimore. Dockman, of course, is known for other baseball card sets as well.

Here are a few of the stars that I have but Carl has the motherlode!
George "Wildcat" Wilson was an All-American halfback at the University of Washington. After graduation, he was enticed by Red Grange to play in Grange's new AFL league Grange was starting with his manager, CC Pyle. Wilson was the star of the Los Angeles Wildcats until the league folded. Wilson then played for three years with the Providence Steam Roller, helping them win the NFL Championship in 1928.

Here is a photo of the Steam Roller championship team:

Eddie Tryon was an All-American halfback at Colgate before playing in the NFL for the New York Football Yankees for one year. He was named 2nd team All-Pro that year before moving on to other endeavors.

SGC designates the year 1925 for Star Player Candy cards but this is believed to be incorrect based upon the fact that some of the players in the set did not play for the organization mentioned on their card until later years. PSA designates the year 1928 which is more likely when these cards were distributed but nobody is certain of this.

As Carl mentions, the Grange and Driscoll are highlights of the set. So are Sternamann and Benny Friedman. The Grange is probably the rarest of all of the Grange cards that exist.


tuckr1 02-11-2015 08:31 AM

Great Thread!!
1 Attachment(s)
Here is my modest entry, 1935 National Chicle, Bronislau "Bronko" Nagurski!

I know its legend, but I love this story!!

Nagurski was discovered and signed by University of Minnesota head coach Clarence Spears, who drove up to International Falls and arriving watched Nagurski out plowing a field. According to legend Spears asked directions to the nearest town, and Bronko lifted his plow and used it to point in the direction of town. He was signed on the spot to play for the Golden Gophers. Spears admitted he concocted the story on his long drive back to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

TanksAndSpartans 02-11-2015 11:25 AM

Jeff, were you thinking WWI or WWII?

jefferyepayne 02-11-2015 11:53 AM


Originally Posted by DezHood (Post 1378903)
Jeff, were you thinking WWI or WWII?

Good point. Should have been more specific. Usually in cards when people say "Pre-war" and don't specify, they are talking about Pre-WWII.


TanksAndSpartans 02-11-2015 12:40 PM

Thanks Jeff - I have Chicles then, but I've posted most of those elsewhere. I don't have anything else. I don't think we've seen any Mayo Cut plug yet. I do see a Shotwell Grange in Carl's post.

Also, here is something I can squeeze into this thread given the year - there is no card of any 1925 Potsville Maroons player is there? Maybe in that Star Player Candy set?

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