Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not catalog material, but worth a look

We don't attempt to catalog most team-photo type of postcards and memorabilia in the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.

Sure, there are some in there, but usually they are part of, or closely related to, card sets that feature individual players.

In the material that we recently received from Maryland collector Al Moore (see original entry March 1), there was a team-photo postcard that won't make it into the catalog, but is still of sufficient interest to be worth a look.

What sets this postcard apart from others of the genre is that it was overprinted for advertising use, and, it pictures a Hall of Fame player in his pre-major league days.

The card pictures the members of the 1908 Reading Pretzels (the team nickname possibly a play on the name of owner Jacob Weitzel), including Frank "Home Run" Baker (top row, fourth from right).

At Reading in 1908, the 22-year-old Baker was in his second year of professional baseball. After the Pretzels finished fourth in the Tri-State League (Class B), Baker began his Hall of Fame career when he was called up to the Philadelphia A's in September.

With Reading, Baker had batted .299 with six home runs (tied for sixth in the league).

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