|Card #70 - John (Honus) Wagner|
This set was issued over two years and was probably a great source of frustration for collectors when it was released. The set contains 98 cards in all, but is skip-numbered between 1 and 168. To add to the confusion, exactly half of the cards in the set were short-printed. Finally, because the cards were crudely colored and made of poor-quality cardboard stock, they are difficult to find in higher grades today. As a result, the 1948-49 Leaf set is a challenge to collect and complete.
It is not known exactly why the set is skip-numbered. It may be that the Leaf Gum Company meant to trick its customers into buying more cards; on the other hand, it may have lost a large portion of its player contracts to the competing Bowman Gum Company, which issued a comparatively larger set in 1949. There is also the possibility that they planned to issue more cards but were unable to acquire more players. Since the cards feature 1948 statistics on the backs, it appears that these cards were first printed late in 1948, and instead of issuing two sets (like Bowman did for 1948 and 1949), the set seems to have been extended through the 1949 season. Additionally, cards have either a 1948 or 1949 copyright on the back.
The card design is fairly basic, featuring a player picture against a background (either solid or two-tone) with a white border. The player's name appears at the bottom of the card in a solid-colored box. The pictures were black and white photos which were then machine-colored. Many of the cards were poorly colored in the process, which caused them to look out of focus and often appeared to have color variations. Card backs were also basic in that they feature the same type of biographical information and a brief write-up of the player's career that were usually found on the backs of sports cards of the era. Below the player info is an ad for All-Sart Baseball Gum and an ad for a felt pennant or player photo in exchange for Leaf wrappers. A Leaf copyright runs across the bottom.
There are three acknowledged vaiations in the set. Card #102 of Gene Hermanski can also be found with his last name spelled "Hermansk." Card #136 of Cliff Aberson shows him with his throwing arm extended; his sleeve is either short or all the way down his arm. Finally, card #42 has Kent Peterson wearing either a red cap or a dark cap.
Key cards in this set include Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and the rookie cards of Jackie Robinson and Leroy "Satchell" Paige. Ruth's appearance is likely a tribute due to his death in August 1948. Other notable rookies here include Ralph Kiner, George Kell, Larry Doby, Warren Spahn and Enos Slaughter. Some "old-timers" are also present in this set. The card featuring John "Honus" Wagner is puzzling to some collectors who grew up with the legend that Wagner's card was pulled from the T-206 set because he was against the idea of his image being used to help sell tobacco. His card (shown above) features him stuffing a plug of chewing tobacco into his mouth.
|Card #82 - Johnny Lindell (Back)|
|1948-49 Leaf Wrapper||1948-49 Leaf Wrapper|
1. Joe DiMaggio 3. Babe Ruth 4. Stan Musial 5. Virgil Trucks 8. Leroy Paige 10. Paul Trout 11. Phil Rizzuto 13. Casimer Michaels 14. Billy Johnson 17. Frank Overmire 19. John Wyrostek 20. Hank Sauer 22. Al Evans 26. Sam Chapman 27. Mickey Harris 28. Jim Hegan 29. Elmer Valo 30. Bill Goodman 31. Lou Brissie 32. Warren Spahn 33. Harry Lowrey 36. Al Zarilla 38. Ted Kluszewski 39. Ewell Blackwell 42. Kent Peterson 43. Eddie Stevens 45. Ken Keltner 46. Johnny Mize 47. George Vico 48. Johnny Schmitz 49. Del Ennis 50. Dick Wakefield 51. Alvin Dark 53. John Vandermeer 54. Bobby Adams 55. Tommy Henrich 56. Larry Jensen 57. Bob McCall 59. Lucius Appling 61. Jake Early 62. Eddie Joost 63. Barkey McCosky 65. Bob Elliot 66. Orval Grove 68. Ed Miller 70. John Wagner 72. Hank Edwards 73. Pat Seerey 75. Dom DiMaggio 76. Ted Williams 77. Roy Smalley 78. Walter Evers 79. Jackie Robinson 81. George Kurowski 82. Johnny Lindell 83. Bobby Doerr 84. Sid Hudson 85. Dave Philley 86. Ralph Weigel 88. Frank Gustine 91. Ralph Kiner 93. Bob Feller 95. George Stirnweiss 97. Martin Marion 98. Hal Newhouser 102a. Gene Hermansk (incorrect spelling) 102b. Gene Hermanski (correct spelling) 104. Edward Stewart 106. Lou Boudreau 108. Matthew Batts 111. Gerald Priddy 113. Emil Leonard 117. Joe Gordon 120. George Kell 121. John Pesky 123. Clifford Fannin 125. Andy Pafko 127. Enos Slaughter 128. Warren Rosar 129. Kirby Higbe 131. Sid Gordon 133. Tommy Holmes 136a. Cliff Aberson (full sleeve) 136b. Cliff Aberson (short sleeve) 137. Harry Walker 138. Larry Doby 139. Johnny Hopp 142. Danny Murtaugh 143. Dick Sisler 144. Bob Dillinger 146. Harold Reiser 149. Henry Majeski 153. Floyd Baker 158. Harry Brecheen 159. Mizell Platt 160. Bob Scheffing 161. Vernon Stephens 163. Freddy Hutchinson 165. Dale Mitchell 168. Phil Cavaretta