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Old 06-13-2013, 08:20 PM
Jason19th Jason19th is offline
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Default Negro League cards never produced or didn't survive

It seem to be accepted that there was never a set of contemporary negro league cards produced in the U.S. But the more I think about it, the more I think that there had to be something produced. By the 1940's Negro league ball was a 2 million dollar per year enterprise. Look at the quality of the Negro League year books put on in 45 and 46, and the program for the 46 East-West Game. There was national coverage in black papers like the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier. There were large fan bases in major cities like Chicago and DC. Yet with all of this there was not even a single team issue (I am not counting the postcards that the Indy Clown produced as those mostly pictured the "performers" not the players) was put out. it just doesn't seem to make sense. Is there a set out there that still need to be discovered?

I would love to hear thoughts, rumors and ideas


Jason
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:40 PM
Yankeefan51 Yankeefan51 is offline
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Default Negro League Cards

I have collected Negro League items for 30 years. With the exception of Cuban cards and one off minor league cabinets there are no Negro League baseball cards

You have a better chance of having dinner with Elvis on Father's Day that you do of discovering a set. Good luck, and if you do find the cards, please give my very best to Elvis


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Old 06-14-2013, 01:46 AM
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RCMcKenzie RCMcKenzie is offline
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Default We don't sell, We buy

I know Travis had a Lane College team photo on BST. We did not make a deal, but I think it is still available on there.

Years ago, I lobbied for the possibility that some new-found Cuban issues were possibly legit, but Christoff shouted me down. Even if issues are found, I doubt they would be accepted.

Last edited by RCMcKenzie; 06-14-2013 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:03 AM
bcbgcbrcb bcbgcbrcb is offline
Phil Garry
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In the days of the Negro Leagues, baseball cards were produced strictly to promote products not to be collected in and of themselves. Since segregation in America lasted throughout the Negro League days, no company would advertise only African American baseball players to promote their product to a population that was still heavily weighted toward Caucasians unless the product was being marketed strictly to African Americans, which I don't believe ever happened. Thus, no cards of Negro Leaguers were ever issued so none can ever be found, minus a real photo postcard here and there.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:50 AM
Jason19th Jason19th is offline
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Phil I would agree with your statement regarding regional or national issues, but it still seems to be odd there there never a set issued for a team. We have to remember these teams made there money barnstorming and for that they needed advertising. Think also of the Page Fence Advertising Trade Card. Also remember that a lot of these teams were supported by owners in the numbers game and in the case of Gus Greenly numbers and clubs. So these some owners did have large customer bases
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:12 AM
Kenny Cole Kenny Cole is online now
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There is occasional oddball stuff out there. For example, I bought this off eBay years ago. There were two others, Bill Byrd and another that I can't remember. I suspect that they were some sort of newspaper insert but don't know.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:22 AM
bcbgcbrcb bcbgcbrcb is offline
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Interesting, Kenny. My guess on something like that is a cut-out from a broadside.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:25 AM
bcbgcbrcb bcbgcbrcb is offline
Phil Garry
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Jason:

One thing to remember, for the Negro League teams to promote themselves by having baseball cards printed, there is a cost there and many of the teams were barely able to stay solvent as money was very tight. This may have been why that never happened. Also, the primary means of promotion in the Negro Leagues seemed to be broadsides, probably paid for by the hosts of the games. These were much more prevalent than in Major League Baseball.

Last edited by bcbgcbrcb; 06-14-2013 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:33 AM
bcbgcbrcb bcbgcbrcb is offline
Phil Garry
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Regarding the 1896 Page Fence trade card, that team was probably created with the primary purpose of promoting the Page Fence company (or the company went to the already established team and asked them to promote their product) and thus a card promoting the players would make sense. Throughout the true Negro League era, all of the major teams operated independently with no one representing a company for promotional purposes. Their sole purpose was to excel on the baseball field so I think that was an anomaly and unlikely to have been repeated again.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:58 PM
novakjr novakjr is offline
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I think one thing to consider is the time period of the 40's, that you mentioned, is the effect that ww2 had on baseball and the economy in general(especially in regards to paper). Which is one of the reasons that we don't even see a whole lot of Major League issues during that time period. You'd also have to figure that by the time cards started to be produced in larger quantities again, that integration had already begun..

So realistically, I'd think that the cost of producing cards during this time period would've been too much for the negro league teams to take on, and then by the time costs started to come back down, the negro leagues were already in a downfall due to losing many of it's best players to the major leagues..

Just a coupla thoughts..
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