This week, it's the 1902-1911 Sporting Life cabinets. Sporting Life was a weekly newspaper, published in Philadelphia. They produced and sold a lengthy run of 5 x 7 ½ inch cabinet photo types of well known baseball players. Because many players were issued with different team designations as they moved about over the years and because there are new discoveries from this issue being made every day, it is likely a check list will remain in flux for some time to come. Several different types and colors of mattes were used over the years with many players issued in more than one of them. Many of the earliest cabinets picture the players in suit and tie while later issues show them in uniform. Where verified, cabinets showing players in street clothes are noted. The black and white portraits are mounted on heavy cardboard mattes. The player's name, position, team, and league are printed beneath the photo and backs are blank. Each cabinet was issued in a transparent envelope. They were originally given away for three two-cent stamps and a coupon found in the paper. Later they were offered for sale for 10 cents each and 12 for $1.
Most of the names are as presented in contemporary ads from the newspaper rife with misspellings and misidentifications and may or may not represent the actual spelling shown on the cards. Because these cards were sold individually upon fan request this is an issue in which the superstars of the day were more common than the benchwarmers. It is also likely that some of the cards were never issued or never survived. Common cards start at $1,000.
The Phillies in the set are as follows:
Next are the W-601, Sporting Life team composites. These were made from 1902-1910. This is an item I have purchased and is one of the most beautiful sports items you can find. They are delicate and when framed are like a masterpiece. If you can ever purchase one it will be something to be cherished. Portraits of the individual players usually identified by name and position surround the managers portrait in this series of team composites sold by Sporting Life newspaper. The 13 x 14 inch pictures are printed on a heavy silk and were sold for a dime a piece. In some years, a bound portfolio of complete sets were offered. Notations of league and world championships were incorporated into the design where appropriate.
The Phillies teams are priced as follows:
That will be all for this weeks report on vintage sports cards. Have a great weekend and watch for us next week. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.