06 March 2011

Baseball "cards" in Newspapers

       Over the last 100 years or so, the sports section of various newspapers around the U.S. have featured illustrations or even "baseball cards" of baseball players.  In the 1920s and 1930s, syndicated columnist and cartoonist Jack Sords, in his "Sords Points" pieces, provided wonderful illustrations to go along with his pieces, both historical and contemporary, of all manner of athletes.

       By the 1970s and 1980s, the newspaper industry had undergone decades of cheapening, and there just wasn't room (or money) in a newspaper for cartoons that were neither funny nor political.  But as a small bonus some papers included series of short profiles designed as collectible "cards", to be clipped out of the newspaper and saved, such as these mentioned by the Uncataloged Baseball Cards blog:

1958 Cincinnati Enquirer Reds Scrapbook

1984 Cincinnati Enquirer Reds Scrapbook

1970-1971 Dayton Daily News

1981 Long Beach Telegram - Steve Garvey/Rod Carew

       Some of these have actually been catalogued and included in the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, such as the sets from the Minneapolis Star in the late 70s:

1977 Minneapolis Star Twins Scrapbook - Rod Carew

       As I dig around in various online newspaper archives, I'll post the "card" sets I find here and the newspapers and issues they appeared in.  Incidentally, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettes below are all available in the Google News Archive and the Chicago sets are available in the Chicago Tribune Archive.

Boston Daily Record, "Baseball Scrap Book", 1934
Burlington Free Press, "Free Press Baseball Cards", 1978

Chicago Tribune, "Autograph Album", 04 July - 04 August 1963
Chicago Tribune, "Cubs & Sox Scrapbook", 12 June - 9 July 1977
Chicago Tribune, "Sox & Cubs Scrapbook", 22 June - 18 July 1980
Chicago Tribune, "White Sox Scrapbook", 13 September - 01 October 1983

Chicago Tribune, "Cubs Scrapbook", 05 September - 02 October 1984
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Reds Scrapbook", 02 March - 14 April 1958
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Reds Scrapbook", 22 February - 31 March 1959
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Reds Scrapbook", 22 February - 29 March 1962
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Reds Scrapbook", 09 March - 10 April 1963
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Reds Scrapbook", 12 March - 10 April 1964
Cincinnati Enquirer, "The Enquirer Book on the Reds", 11 March - 08 April 1965
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Reds Scrapbook", 06 March - 04 April 1966
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Meet your Reds", 12 March - 09 April 1967
Cincinnati Enquirer, "Reds Scrapbook" printed in 1984

Cincinnati Post, 1938
Dayton Daily News, "Bubblegumless Cards", 05 April 1970 - 26 May 1971

[Escondido] The Times-Advocate, 11 April 1983, 29 full-color Padres cards
[Escondido] The Times-Advocate, 23 April 1985
Long Beach Press Telegram, 1980 (series of 26, two players per "card", all Dodgers and Angels)
Long Beach Press Telegram, 1981 (series of 26, two players per "card", all Dodgers and Angels)
Los Angeles Examiner, "Dodgers' Album" 1960
Los Angeles Herald Examiner, "Dodgers Scrapbook" printed in 1977
Minneapolis Star, "Twins Scrapbook", 04 July - 12 August 1977

Philadelphia Bulletin, Phillies Stand-Ups, 25 July - 29 August 1949
Philadelphia Bulletin, Athletics/Phillies 1949
Philadelphia Inquirer, "Fightin' Phillies printed in 1950
Philadelphia Inquirer,  1965, not really cards, but there is a full page of color photos with short profiles for each player
Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, "Sports Stamps" printed in 1936 across several different major regional Hearst-owned papers such as the Detroit Times, Buffalo Times and Chicago American
Pittsburgh Press, "Buc-A-Day", 05 March - 29 March 1972 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, " '72 Pirates Album", 06 March - 06 April 1972

1 Gene Alley (March 6)
2 Steve Blass (March 7)
3 Nelson Briles (March 8)
4 Dave Cash (March 9)
5 Roberto Clemente (March 10)
6 Gene Clines (March 11)
7 Vic Davalillo (March 13)
8 Dock Ellis (March 14)
9 Dave Giusti (March 15)
10 Richie Hebner (March 16)
11 Jackie Hernandez (March 17)
12 Ramon Hernandez (March 18)
13 Bob Johnson (March 20)
14 Bruce Kison (March 21)
15 Milt May (March 22)
16 Bill Mazeroski (March 23)
17 Bob Miller (March 24)
18 Bob Moose (March 25)
19 Al Oliver (March 27)
20 Jose Pagan (March 28)
21 Bob Robertson (March 29)
22 Charlie Sands (March 30)
23 Manny Sanguillen (March 31)
24 Rennie Stennett (April 1)
25 Willie Stargell (April 3)
26 Bob Veale (April 4)
27 Luke Walker (April 5)
28 Bill Virdon (April 6)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, " '73 Pirates Album", 21 Feb - 21 March 1973

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, " '75 Pirates Album", 03 March - 04 April 1975

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Pirates Portraits", 13 June - 18 July 1977

San Diego Union, "Meet the Padres",  8 March - 19 April 1981
San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Giants 16 October 1987
Seattle Post-Intelligencer,  "Pilot Profiles", 1969
Wichita Eagle-Beacon, Monday papers, 1983-1985 @ Uncatalogued Baseball Cards: 198319841985

Other sports:

The Michigan Daily, Wolverine Trading Cards, 1984
November 28, 1984 - Antoine Joubert, Gary Grant, Robert Henderson, Garde Thompson, Leslie Rockymore, Chuck DeGlopper, Gerary Rudy, Roy Tarpley, Rich Rellford, Steve Stoyko, Ron Gibbs, Butch Wade.

Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals Scrapbook, 3 Aug 1970-

The Tuscaloosa News, Talladega's Legends Posters, October 6-23, 2001
1 Tony Stewart
2 Bobby Labonte
3 Darrell Waltrip
4 Bobby Allison
5 Mark Martin
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7 Bill Elliott
8 Sterling Marlin
9 Cale Yarborough
10 Dale Jarrett
11 Kevin Harvick
12 Neil Bonnett
13 Jeff Gordon
14 Davey ALlison
15 Richard Petty
16 Dale Earnhardt
17 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Seattle Times, "Seattle Sounders" printed August 1980
10 Aug Jack Brand/Mike Ivanow
11 Aug John Ryan/Bobby Howe
12 Aug David Nish/Jeff Stock
13 Aug Tommy Hutchison/Bruce Miller
14 Aug Ian Bridge/Steve Buttle
15 Aug Bruce Rioch/John Andersen
16 Aug Mark Peterson/Roy Greaves
17 Aug Alan Hinton/Frank Barton
18 Aug Max Thompson/Alan Hudson
19 Aug Roger Davies/Jeff Bourne


  1. One of the Seattle papers did a set for the Pilots in 1969: http://www.seattlepilots.com/profiles01.html

    Don't know off hand if it's in the Standard Catalog or not. I had a reprint set for it years ago.

  2. I dug around in the Standard Catalog and couldn't find any references to a newspaper-based Seattle Pilots set, so I guess it's undocumented. So far, the Post-Intelligencer isn't available that far back in any of the online newspaper archives.

  3. Ah, Beckett does list the Pilots set as being from the Post-Intelligencer in 1969. It was also reprinted in 1977 as an actual set of cards.

  4. I'm not sure if this fits the bill, but the San Francisco Chronicle issued a series of "cards" as Barry Bonds made his home run progress in 2001. Here's a scan: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FcWLz_OXp0k/TgAho1KQIjI/AAAAAAAAB_Y/mpmKXVNrCkA/s1600/scan0217.jpg

    They were printed in the newspaper, and while I don't believe they start at #1, I've seen them from the 30s or early 40s all the way through the end of the season.

    Thanks again, by the way, for your all your feedback today!

  5. After a little digging, it appears there were two versions of these "cards". The versions issued in the daily papers, mostly in black and white, and with Bonds' name in the solid stripe at the bottom, and then at the end of the season, the Chronicle re-issued a new version of the entire set, in color, in a souvenir pull-out edition with the date of each home run in the stripe at the bottom. It looks like the updated edition also used different photos, so it is essentially a whole new set.