Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Standard Catalog Update #21 : Globe Printing Independence Browns

As promised yesterday, here is the report of a second newly-discovered team issue from the circa 1951-54 Globe Printing Co. series of minor league sets.

To get caught up on Globe cards and Oklahoma collector Glen Turner's discovery of two new team sets, I'll wait here while you go back and read yesterday's post about the Ponca City Dodgers set.

Shown here is the only card we know of so far for what appears to be another Globe set from the 1952 Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League, the Independence (Kans.) Browns.

Independence had had an on-again, off-again presence in the Class C and D minor leagues since 1896. Prior to joining the K-O-M circuit in 1947, its second season, Independence had last fielded a team in Organized Baseball in 1932.

From 1947-50, Independence was a Class D farm club for the N.Y. Yankees. Independence was 17-year-old Mickey Mantle's first professional engagement. He hit .313 with seven home runs in 89 games.

Independence left the league for 1951, but was back in 1952 as a farm team for the St. Louis Browns. When the K-O-M League folded after the 1952 season, so did Independence's history in minor league baseball.

The '52 team was managed by 36-year-old Fred "Rip" Collins, who also played first base. It is Collins' card that has survived to provide proof of the team's status as a baseball card issuer. We currently know of no cards for the rest of the team roster of 17-23-year-old players, none of whom ever got a game at the major league level. If other Globe team sets of the era are any indication, there should be 18-20 player cards yet to be accounted for in the Independence team set.

Collins himself played 13 seasons in the minors between 1937-52 (with three years out for military service), mostly with the Yankees organization. He made it to the top levels of the minors several times, with teams like Newark, Kansas City and Toronto, but never got a day of MLB service.

I suppose that as long as I continue to work on the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, I'll be treated to new discoveries in the realm of Globe Printing Co. minor league cards -- at least I hope so. I hold out only faint hope that, since Globe did a set for the 1952 Oshkosh Giants, that they also did a set for my hometown Fond du Lac Panthers of the Wisconsin State League. I've had one long-time dealer tell me that he believes he has seen such cards, but they've never surfaced during my time in the hobby.

Oh, and speaking of Globe cards, despite the insistence of one veteran dealer, the Jim Jones in the 1953 Globe Sioux City Soos set is not the Rev. Jim Jones of Jonestown massacre infamy. The Soo was James Steven Jones, born in 1930. The cult leader was James Warren Jones, born a year later and practicing in the ministry by 1954.

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