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Heading down the reprint road

Happy Easter.

I don't have anything Easter-related for this holiday blog post. I actually thought of something appropriate five minutes ago, but by the time I gathered everything together into my very festive Easter basket, there'd be about an hour left in the holiday. So I'll save it for next year -- if I remember.

Instead, what I had queued up to run is very dry and dull compared to colorful jelly beans and spring dresses. In fact, with the exception of the above card, everything else you will see here is black and white.

Wait! No, wait, come back!

I knew this was going to happen.

Sorry, I think I've just entered the "early 20th century" phase of my collecting journey. It was a super black-and-white period.

This doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly start picking up cards featuring antique bicycles and crows. I'm not attempting to land traditional tobacco cards of baseball players either.

No, all of that is too fancy for me and also beyond my cash allowance  in most cases. Instead, I'm going down the reprint road.

Reprints have become a dirty word in card collecting the last 20 years or so. Topps churns out so many reprints every year that it's easy to own a dozen different reprint versions of the same card without even having the actual card. But reprints serve a purpose when you're not hammered over the head with them.

They're a good way to land sets that are impossible to find in original form, whether they're too expensive or just not available. I've always wanted to do this with those distant Dodgers sets.

But first lets deal with that White Sox reprint set that I first showed a couple weeks ago.

These are all the cards I received from Johnny in one of his Big Fun Games. It's about two-thirds of the 1992 Manning 1919 Black Sox Reprint set.

This is a reprint set of a team set issued by the White Sox in 1917. Your chances of landing the original team set are about as good as your chances of seeing Major League Baseball this month.

But I had such luck landing a good portion of this reprint set that Johnny just sent the rest of the cards to me!

So now I have the complete 26-card reprint set.

Here is a side-by-side of the black-and-white and color Joe Jackson cards. You'll note, Jackson is referred to by his well-known nickname on the color card only. And the color card has added a background with some embellishment by an artist no doubt inspired by "Field Of Dreams".

Here are the eight Eight Men Out cards of the Black Sox players banished by baseball, all with black borders around them:

Although these cards are funny-shaped and somewhat difficult to find pages for -- I do think they'll fit well in six-pockets (I don't think I have any of those handy right now) -- they are a nice size.

The other reprint set that I received recently is the same height, but thinner, and a little bit more awkward.

This is a reprint (note the wording in the bottom right corner) of one of the Dodgers in the 1916 Sporting News set, which was issued to new subscribers.

I was inspired to get this set by Wrigley Wax, who recently acquired the Cubs portion of the reprint set. I thought the cards looked nifty and they were certainly cheap enough. Plus, it's about time I started getting Dodgers cards from this time period. The Dodgers went to the World Series twice in a five-year period between 1916-20 and I have so few cards representing that era.

The 1916 Sporting News reprints are perfect because the Dodgers (then called the Robins, but for some reason they're "Nationals" here) went to the World Series that year, losing to the Red Sox in five games.

Let's see the 14 representatives in this set:

Some familiar names there as you would expect from a World Series team.

The players included are actually based on the 1915 Brooklyn team, which explains why 1916 starting pitcher Sherry Smith, starting third baseman Mike Mowrey and starting second baseman George Cutshaw weren't included. (I'm sure you were wondering). It also explains why Nap Rucker is in the set. A star of earlier Brooklyn teams, Rucker barely played on the 1916 team. Same deal with Gus Getz, the starting third baseman for the 1915 team but a minimal player in 1916.

This is one of the great things about reprint sets: it allows you to learn about teams that almost always get ignored (by me anyway) because I don't have any cards of them.

There isn't a lot to these cards -- the backs are blank -- and there's that storage question again, but I'll manage. I'm just happy that I have something that looks like what was issued in 1916.

And I've already ordered another Dodgers reprint set from around the same time period. And, yes, I copied Wrigley Wax again.

In my defense, it's a set I've always loved and have always wanted. And, unlike the 1916 Sporting News set, I actually have an original card from this set, too.

Stay tuned.


Chris said…
I'm learning to love reprints since my All-Time Team project will require some combination of them and Black & White cards. The "nationals" name seems to indicate an importance of the league over the individual teams' names. I've seen teams referred to as "americans" in that era as well.
acrackedbat said…
I LOVE b&w cards! Reprints too, when nicely done and not made by Topps. That gimmick wore out its welcome with me years ago. Quite cool of Johnny to send the remainder your way.
B/W works for me, as does reprint (Braves). Of course I want the orginals too, I'm greedy that way. Happy Easter.
Fuji said…
I really like the colored background "Shoeless Joe" Jackson. What a great looking card. As for reprints... I'm not a huge fan of how Topps continues to flood the hobby with them. That being said, I was pretty excited when they first released Archives and produced that 1953 Topps set. And I would love to have one of those 1952 Topps reprint sets from the 80's.
Nick Vossbrink said…
I've been picking up reprints for my alumni set as well. Can't afford the originals and it's nice to get some pre-war names into the binder.