Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Orcajo Reds postcard pair reported

In the Cincinnati Reds glory years of the late-1930s, a Dayton, Ohio, photo studio issued a series of four different types of player postcards featuring nearly 40 Reds players plus, inexplicably, Joe DiMaggio.

Pioneering card catalog Jefferson Burdick lumped the four types together under the catalog number of PC786.

First issued in 1937, the earliest cards have an inset photo on front of Reds broadcaster Si Burick of WHIO radio. These cards do not have the Orcajo imprint on the postcard back.

Perhaps also issued in 1937, and continuing in 1938 and 1939 are cards that: 1) have no advertising imprint on front; 2) have advertising on front for Val Decker Packing Co., a meat dealer, or, 3) have advertising on front for Metropolitan Clothing Co. These latter three types have on back, along with standard postcard indicia, a credit line of "ORCAJO PHOTO ART, DAYTON, OHIO".

All of the Orcajo cards are in standard postcard format of 3-1/2" x 5-1/2" with sepia posed-action photos and white borders.

Not all players' cards can be found in all types, and, surprisingly, cards of heretofore unreported players are still being discovered.

The latest additions to the checklist come from Maryland collector Al Moore, who sent photocopies of Orcajo postcards of George Davis and Alex Kampouris.

George Davis, nicknamed Kiddo, is one of three Reds named Davis who appear among the Orcajo postcards. He was purchased from the Giants on Aug. 4, 1937, and released by the Reds just about a year later. It may be that his card remained unchecklisted so long because it was only issued for a relatively short period. Thus far, the Kiddo Davis Orcajo card is known only with the Val Decker ad on front.

The other Davises found on Orcajo postcards are catcher Virgil "Spud" Davis, and pitcher Roy "Peaches" Davis, who is identified on the card as "Ray".

The other newly reported Orcajo card is of Alex Kampouris, which might also have been short-printed in that he was traded to the Giants for Wally Berger on June 6, 1938. The Kampouris card submitted by Moore has the Val Decker advertising on front, but it is so faded in that area of the postcard that it is virtually invisible.

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