The new year has brought a report of a new team added to the opus of minor league baseball cards produced in the early 1950s by Globe Printing of San Jose, Calif.
California collector Jolene Jordan has reported the existence of a card from the 1952 Visalia Cubs team, pitcher Max Milton.
Jolene was given the card (actually a pair of them) as a birthday present by her grandmother some 20 years ago. Her grandmother lived in Visalia, so Jolene speculates the cards originated from a trip to a ballgame the night that the Max Milton cards were distributed.
The 2-1/4" x 3-3/8" black-and-white, blank backed card is in the familiar Globe Printing format, with a borderless action photo and a white strip with the player name.
Milton made his professional baseball debut at age 19, pitching for Visalia, the Chicago Cubs farm team in the Class C California League. He pitched in 26 games, only two of them as a starter. His record was 3-2 with a 5.58 ERA. In 71 innings he gave up 82 hits, 52 runs and 26 walks.
Milton's only other engagement in Organized Baseball was in 1955, with Tucson of the Arizona-Mexico League, where he was 0-1 in two appearances. It's possible, likely even, the years 1953-1954 were spent in the military.
The V-Cubs finished fourth in the league in 1952, 16 games out.
Assuming the Max Milton card is, indeed, part of a team set, there are no former or future Major Leaguers to look for. There may, however, be a card of Milton's pitching staff mate, Chet Brewer; the legendary Negro Leagues pitcher was at least 45 years old in 1952.