Card of the Moment #72
July 25th, 2011 by slangon

As you read this, I’m sitting pool side in Virginia, hopefully consuming some sort of frosty cold adult beverage. Actually, I’ve been doing that for the last couple of days now. I was hoping to finish writing up all them Best Month Ever posts and schedule them for while I’m away, but that never happened. I dropped the ball with only a couple of posts left to do. So now you have the pleasure of reading through some hastily thrown together Card of the Moment posts. Yay.

Todays Card of the Moment is brought to us by Post. The cereal, not the government service.

1961 Post #43 Lou Berberet

Post began issuing “cards” in 1960. They were essentially framed portraits of sport stars, including some baseball players, but also football and basketball stars. I’m not sure they were true cards, however as they apparently had no sort of statistical or biographic info on them whatsoever. They were also very large, measuring 7″x8.75″. Another feature of the 1960 Post set that I feel differentiates it from a full blown card set was the fact that there were only 9 cards in the set. They seemed to be hit, though, because Post began issuing “real” cards for the next couple of years on the backs of such products as Alpha-Bits, Post Toasties and Grape-Nuts.

The 1961 set was reduced to the standard 2.5″ x 3.5″ card size and also adopted a more standard format, with the players picture, a bio and the previous seasons stats along with lifetime stats. While they were reducing the size of the cards, they were busy upping the size of the set. It went from the 9 cards of the 1960 set (5 of which were baseball players) to 200 cards. Also, the checklist wasn’t all willy-nilly the way Topps likes it. It was more structured like the way Fleer used to do it. Cards 1-100 were all American Leaguers and cards 101-200 were all National Leagues. It was further broken down by teams. Cards 1-18 were the Yankees, followed by the White Sox, Tigers, Red Sox, Indians, Orioles, A’s and Twins. Milwaukee started the N.L. portion of things, followed by the Phillies, Pirates, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals, Reds and Cubs. I guess I get why they started off with the Yankees and Braves, since they were pretty star studded teams at the time, but I don’t quite understand the rest of the teams order. It’s not in order of the standings. It’s not alphabetical. I guess it is pretty willy-nilly after all, in it’s own way.

If you’re thinking that you had to eat at least 200 boxes of cereal to complete the set, you’re wrong. Aside from being available on the back of boxes, you could order pre-perforated sheets directly from Post. As much as that made things a little easier, it also complicated matters as not all the cards that were available on boxes were available from the sheets. Alternately, there were several players you could get through the mail that were nowhere to be seen in the cereal aisle.

There was also some variations between cards that were available from both the boxes and the mail-in program. Some players, like Gene Freese, Frank Bolling, Johnny Antonelli and Harvey Kuenn, were listed as member of one team on the box backs and on a different team on the mail order version. Also, all the Twins cards were listed as “Minneapolis” on the box version, but “Minnesota” on the mail order kind. Apparently, since the mail-in cards were printed after the box versions, there are also several cards that have “traded” or “sold to” references. With all the variations, this 200 card set is actually 223 cards, which considering some of the ridiculous variations and parallels in todays sets, that’s pretty damn reasonable.

Here’s the very interesting looking back of the card. As you can see, whatever kid cut this thing out did a terrible job, thus ruining this otherwise pristine copy of Lou Berberet’s card. Obviously, I’m joking about that, but that apparently was a very big problem with these types of cards and makes trying to find really good copies of these things is a headache. Kids are idiots and don’t know how to use scissors, and now all the PSA obsessed adults today have to suffer.

4 Responses to “Card of the Moment #72”

  1. You picked the wrong time to come to ol’ Virginny… Its too hot to even sit by the pool. Where exactly are you staying in VA?

  2. Yeah. It’s pretty damn hot but it’s not like it was exactly frigid up in Jersey. I’m down in Williamsburg.

  3. A kid’s terrible cutting skills 50 years ago = a great deal on that card today.

    I am a former radio DJ, so PSA means “public service announcement” to me. I have little use for the card authenticator.

  4. Cool, Williamsburg is about 40 minutes down I-64 from my house. If you like seafood, you should check out Captain George’s Seafood Buffet. It’s one of my favorite places to visit along with the outlet mall there.

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