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PC798   Baseball Comic Postcards
Group A   (The Basic 12 -- Sets Cataloged in the ACC)

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Group A   (The Basic 12 -- Sets Cataloged in the ACC)
Group B   (Baseball Comic Postcard Sets -- Other)
Group C   (Baseball Comic PC's in Mostly Non-Baseball Sets)
Group D   (Baseball Comic PC Singles -- Not Part of Sets)

The printing of Comic Postcards of all themes evolved directly from those used on many 19th century trade cards. They are among the earliest postcards printed, and are also found among the earliest baseball postcards.

Twelve different sets of comic postcards with a baseball theme were identified by J. R. Burdick in the American Card Catalog (page 158). These are assigned the numbers PC798-1 through PC798-12 and represent a full range of the types of cards published. Examples from each of these sets are provided below, following a summary table that compares the key aspects of each series.

Numerous additional sets of baseball comic postcards, all produced in the first half of the twentieth century, have now been identified beyond these twelve. Examples of a many of these additional cards are presented on the Baseball Comic Postcards continuation webpages. These can be accessed from links at the top and bottom of this page.

Basic Comic Baseball Postcard Sets -- An Overview
(sets cataloged in the ACC)
ACC #Description Year
Issued
# cards
in Set
Card Value
(VG)
PC798-1FAN-IE Series 1001916 12$$
-2312 Set; Baseball Plays off the Diamond; Colors1912 12$$
-32715 Set; Tan; J. Raymond Howe, Chicago1913 4$$$
-4Series # 5017 (tots) G. D. & D., NY & London1914 12$$$
-5# 8811 Set; S. Bergman, NY1913 12$$
-6"Baseball;" by P. Crosby; Sepia; Embossed Edges1911 12$$
-7"Baseball;" pub. by ZIM; Embossed; Colors1910 3$$
-8"BB Series;" B&W w/red trim; 3 bats & balls at bottom1912 12$$
-9Baseball Lovers; Sepia; Colonial Art--F. G. Henry1910 9$
-10Baseball Lovers; Sepia; Roth & Langley, NY1910 24 (x2)$
-11BB Lovers; B&W; Anon; "Crescent" on some uniforms1913 8$$
-12"Baseball Terms Illustrated; Boston Post; Series 2221911 12$$

Card Value Codes (G-VG cond.):   $ ($2-9)     $$ ($10-24)     $$$ ($25-49)     $$$$ ($50-99)     $$$$$ ($100+)


PC798-1   (1916)   $$
FAN-IE Series
Twelve cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
Fan-ie Series 100 (L & R New York -- Est. Allison 1916)

Cards from this set are all borderless and depict cartoon baseball players (with "nuf'fin on") along with a corresponding caption. The body and head are each fashioned from drawings of a baseball in a variety of baseball-themed poses. All of the cards are colored generally in yellows and greens.

A copyright mark "Est. Allison 1916" is printed in the lower left corner. A "FAN-IE Series 100" label is printed on the card back, and another that reads "L.& R. New York, 14 W. 23rd St."

Cards in this set include the following titles:

  1.   Am not strong on the catch, But I am strong for you.
  2.   Hello? anything doing? I have nuf'fin on.
  3.   I am up in the air about you.
  4.   If I catch you Can I hold you?
  5.   If I strike it, Will you take a chance with me?
  6.   If you want to play with me, play fair.
  7.   I'm in the field with a home and a diamond. Who wants me?
  8.   In the land of spirits with fowl balls, fly balls and high balls, thinking of you.
  9.   It's better to be one out than all in.
  10.   One in the hand is worth two over the fence. I'll get you some day.
  11.   This Fan-ie is home I wish I were too.
  12.   Will you be my catcher If I pitch for you?


PC798-2   (1912)   $$
Baseball Plays off the Diamond
Twelve cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
Series 137 (white border surrounding a brown border, many colors, a large 3-1/2 inch non-baseball picture at top, a small 1-1/2 inch baseball scene at bottom)

The pictures on the cards in this set are all enclosed in a brown frame surrounded by a white border. The vertical-format card is divided into a large (3-1/2 inch) panel at the top with a smaller (1-1/2 inch) panel below.

The card title is printed at the top of the upper panel, which has a color drawing with a non-baseball theme. Another color drawing in the lower panel carries a baseball theme--also related to the title in the top panel.

The twelve cards in this set include the following titles:
  • A Base on Balls. He Walks 4 a.m.
  • A Delayed Steal.
  • A Double Steal.
  • A Home Run. (to mommer)
  • A Phenomenal Stop
  • A Sacrifice Hit
  • A Safe hit.
  • A Sensational Catch
  • Forced Out on Second
  • Making a Squeeze
  • Stealing Home.
  • Three Strikes Out


PC798-3   (1913)   $$$
2715 Set; Tan; J. Raymond Howe, Chicago
Four cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
2715 (published by the J. Raymond Howe Co., Chicago, tanish color, small boy against brown circle, verse at bottom)

The cards in this set are printed over a brown marbled background. The vertically designed cards feature a young player inside a circle at top with a verse below.

Cards in this set include the following titles:

  • To Make A Hit In ...
  • It's Easy To Catch Something ...
  • All My Decisions Would ...
  • Wherever you go The Home plate's ...
Note: This set was illustrated by John Raymond Howe (1879-1962) and produced by the J. Raymond Howe Company of Chicago.


PC798-4   (1914)   $$$
Border of Bats Series
Twelve cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
Series No. 5017 (G.D. & D. New York and London, small children, girls are sunbonnet, edging of bats, balls and baseball equipment, colorful)

While the players in this set are generic drawings of small children, the series enjoys more appeal than most other baseball comic postcard sets in that it represents all sixteen Major League teams of the period. To be more precise, each card names one of the 12 cities that sponsored Major League teams. Thus, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis each represented only once.

The attractively designed full color card fronts are each framed with icons of baseball gear (bats, balls, mitts, etc.). Each also dispays a caption along with cartoon-like drawings of one or two players. The city name is printed on the jersey (or sleeve) of one of the players.

Cards in this set include the following titles:

  1.   A Good "Catch" (Pittsburgh)
  2.   Chase Yourself Kid! You're Off Your "Base" (Brooklyn)
  3.   Do I Make A "Hit" With You? (Detroit)
  4.   Don't "Judge" Me Too Harshly (Boston)
  5.   I Am All "Put out" About You (St. Louis)
  6.   I Am Studying The Curves" (Washington)
  7.   I Expect To "Strike" Something Soon! (Philadelphia)
  8.   I Would Like To "Steal" You (Cincinnati)
  9.   I'd Like To "Catch" On To A Nice Girl (New York)
  10.   Practice makes Perfect--You Need More Practice! (Cleveland)
  11.   Say--I'm Going "Batty" Over You (Chicago)
  12.   The "Bases Full" (New York)
Note: The PC798-4 Series was produced by Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis (G.D.& D.) Co. Ltd. The company was based in New York, but also had offices in London and Munich and were active from about 1904 to 1915.


PC798-5   (1913)   $$
Summertime Series
Twelve cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
8811 (S. Bergman, N Y 1913, player imposed on yellow sun to left side of card)

This set might well be titled the "Summertime Series," as ... .

Cards in this set include the following titles:

  1.   A SHORT STOP in the Summertime
  2.   Come along and put one over in the good old Summertime.
  3.   Come to me, oh come to me, in the good old Summertime.
  4.   Everybody wants an inning in the balmy Summertime.
  5.   Here's a hot one in the hot Summertime
  6.   I can make the delivery in the good old Summertime.
  7.   I hope to get there soon in the gladsome Summertime.
  8.   I will have thee near me, in the sublime Summertime.
  9.   I will make a good run for you.
  10.   Just a fan in the warm Summertime.
  11.   It feels good to have won, and made good.
  12.   It's great fun, studying the stars in the good old Summertime.


PC798-6   (1911)   $$
"Baseball" with Embossed Edges
Twelve cards (12); about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
Signed Crosby (embossed edging, sepia and cream, top--small frame, bottom--large frame with main picture)

This set contains 12 cards with embossed borders. One of three designs is printed in a narrow panel at the top.

A much larger area below contains a baseball illustration for the card along with a related caption.

Cards in this set include the following titles:
  • A Nice Little Single for an Old Bat.
  • A Triple Steal
  • Brought Home With a Hit
  • Going for Third
  • He Bit at Every Ball
  • He Made a Hit and Got Two Bags
  • Hitting The Out Drops
  • Nice Curves
  • Out on Three Strikes
  • Second Baseman Made a Swell Catch
  • The Ball Went Through Short-Stop
  • The Umpire Was Cool and Collected


PC798-7   (1910)   $$
Embossed "Baseball" at Top Series
Three cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
ZIM ("Baseball'", H. G. Zimmerman & Co., Chicago, embossed, multicolored)

All three postcards in this embossed set contain the word "BASEBALL" across the top of the vertically designed cards. Each card also includes an embossed caption across the bottom.

Each card is printed in shades of four pastel colors, giving the set a unique look and appeal. The colors are often green, purple, orange and gold, as shown here, although other color combinations are relatively common. A scarce variation printed in gray is also known (see example in Set Gallery).

Cards in this set include the following titles:

  1. A Slide for First
  2. Caught between Bases
  3. Out on a Foul


PC798-8   (1912)   $$
Red Trim Series
Twelve cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
"Baseball Series" (one large and one small picture in lower right hand corner, red borders, top border has 13 baseballs, bottom border has 3 bats and 3 balls)

All of the cards in this set display a large black & white drawing with a non-baseball theme. A smaller image in the lower right corner does carry a baseball theme. The two images are related only by the card title, which is located to the left of the smaller image.

A red border frames the postcard. Within the top border are thirteen baseballs. Three balls and three bats are printed in red across the bottom of each card.

The set is labeled as the "Baseball Series" in the American Card Catalog. Cards in this set include the following titles:
  • Catching A Fly At Centre
  • Caught At The Plate
  • Caught Stealing Home
  • He Doubled On A Long Fly
  • He Hit Into The Bleachers
  • He Reached For A High Fowl
  • He Sacrificed On A Slow One
  • Hot Off The Plate
  • Lining 'Em Out
  • She Fumbled And He Was Safe
  • Sneaking Home on a Squeeze
  • They Could'nt Touch The Pitcher


PC798-9   (1910)   $
Baseball Lovers (Title inside Framed Block)
Nine cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/4 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
Colonial Art (copyright 1910, Brooklyn, Published by F. G. Henry & Co., Inc. N Y., sepia)

This set, one of the more frequently encountered by today's collectors, contains nine sepia-toned cards. According to the fine print on the lower edge of the title block, it carried the copyright of Colonial Art Pub. Co. of Brooklyn, N. Y. and was published by F. G. Henry & Co., Inc., also of New York.

Cards in this set include the following titles:

  • A Balk
  • A Chance Play
  • A High Ball
  • A Sacrifice
  • A Steal
  • Breaking her contract
  • Catching a hot one
  • Covering left field
  • Delaying the game



Type 1 Caption Format
PC798-10   (1910)   $
Baseball Lovers (Sepia; Roth & Langley)
Twenty-four cards (x2); about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
Roth and Langley (copyright 1910, N. Y., sepia, glossy finish, some titles at top, some titles at bottom)

This set of twenty-four borderless postcards is the largest of several series referred to generically as "Baseball Lovers" sets. The cards are printed in both vertical and horizontal designs.


Type 2 Caption Format
The captions on the front of the cards are found in two different formats:

(Type 1) In the first format, the caption is printed in all caps lettering--usually over an off-white panel extending the full width of the card at the bottom of the illlustration. However, on some cards the caption is printed inside the illustration (see example above).

(Type 2) In the second format, the captions are printed in a slightly different (slightly larger, slightly thinner and slightly fancier) serif font. For this subset, the captions are all printed within the borderless picture on the card (example at right).

All 24 postcards can be found in both Type 1 and Type2 formats.

Cards in this set include the titles shown below:

  • A Balk
  • A Close Decision
  • A Close Game
  • A Triple Play
  • Back Stop
  • Batter up
  • Catching A Fly
  • Come On, Boys
  • Double play
  • Instructions
  • Kill The Umpire
  • Knocked Out Of The Box
  • Line Hit
  • Over The Fence Is Out
  • Play Ball
  • Safe
  • Safe At First
  • Score 1 To 1
  • Score 3 To 1
  • Squeeze Play
  • Strike One
  • The Hits Of The Game
  • Tie Game
  • Who Wins


PC798-11   (1913)   $$
Baseball Lovers (Wide Black Border)
Eight cards; about 3-3/8 x 5-3/8 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
(wide black border, black and white, surrounded by narrow white border and then the wider black border, photo of girl and player, Crescent on girl's uniform)

This unique "Baseball Lovers" set of features both vertical and horizontal designs. The illlustrations are encased inside a concentric black (outer) and white (inner) border. Captions are printed in the black border at the bottom of each card.

Cards in the set include the following titles:
  • A Close Play.
  • A Steal.
  • A Tie Game.
  • Delaying the Game.
  • Hard to Beat.
  • I'll get you yet.
  • Never give up.
  • Teaching the Game.


PC798-12   (1911)   $$
Baseball Terms Illustrated (Boston Post Series)
Twelve cards; about 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Set Gallery

Notes from Keetz 1983 Reference:
Signed Alfred James Dewey (Some are supplements to Boston Sunday Post, Series 222)

This attractive set includes twelve numbered cards featuring the artwork of Alfred James Dewey. All cards are printed in full color and feature vignetted romantic scenes in a vertical format.

The set series number "222-x" is printed in the lower left border, where x is the card number within the series. Card captions are found in the lower right.

In addition to the postcard indicia, labeling in small print on the backs follow one of two formats:

(1) On six of the cards, the labeling reads: "Supplement to the Boston Sunday Post, DATE," where DATE is the date that the supplement was issued. Interestingly, the dates and the sequence numbers on the cards do not track. However, the dated supplements were issued in an uninterrupted weekly sequence from Sunday, May 21, 1911 through Sunday, June 25, 1911.
(2) On the remaining six cards, the labeling reads: "Base Ball Series No. 222" (these 6 cards were apparently not used as newspaper supplements).

A copyright notice for "The Frederickson Co., Chicago" is also found on all card backs.

Cards in this set include the following titles:
-1 Play Ball
-2 Waiting For A Good One
-3 A Hit
-4 A Sacrifice (June 18, 1911)
-5 A Single (May 28, 1911)
-6 A Double Play (May 21, 1911)
-7 Two Singles
-8 Caught Stealing (June 4, 1911)
-9 A Costly Error (June 25, 1911)
-10 The Winning Drive
-11 A Shut Out (June 11, 1911)
-12 The Score--One To Nothing
The illustrator for this set was Alfred James Dewey (1874 - 1958). Dewey lived in New York and Southern California and is credited with illustrations published in Life, Judge, Harpers and other magazines.


Group A   (The Basic 12 -- Sets Cataloged in the ACC)
Group B   (Baseball Comic Postcard Sets -- Other)
Group C   (Baseball Comic PC's in Mostly Non-Baseball Sets)
Group D   (Baseball Comic PC Singles -- Not Part of Sets)

See also:   Baseball Comic PCs on eBay           Google Search          
Baseball Comic PC Website           US Postcard History
Reference and Background:
1) Lyman Hardeman and Frank Keetz, "Old Cardboard SPECIAL ISSUE: Baseball Comic Postcards," Old Cardboard eMagazine, Issue #180 (December 2021), Item #2


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