Sunday, May 27, 2012

Red Man cards got Sporting News' notice

Early in the 1952 baseball season, Red Man advertised
its new baseball card issue in the pages of The Sporting News.

Baseball cards received a modicum of attention in the Aug. 27, 1952, issue of The Sporting News.

In an unsigned item at the bottom of the editorial column on Page 10 was . . .

            In the early days of the century, the collection of picture cards of major league players was a favorite pastime among youngsters. There was keen competition for the distinction of having the largest collection, and the trading of cards that went on among the small fry equaled in intensity the negotiations between rival club officials in deals involving players. All this contributed to the popularity of the game, especially among the rising generation.
            Now the picture cards are being revived by the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co., with the cards being included in packages of Red Man chewing tobacco. The move immediately met with a favorable response, and the cards are in demand, with dad, uncle and big brother being importuned by youngsters to save the cards for them. Many sports editors and writers have requested collections of the cards for young members of their families. Adults, too, are assembling their own collections in many instances.
            Collecting always has been an American hobby, whether of stamps, coins, autographs of famous people or other items. The enthusiasm with which the revival of player picture-cards has been greeted proves that the urge for collecting can be turned to the advantage of the game and to the pleasure of the collectors.

I found it curious that TSN singled out Red Man for mention in its editorial. That nod no doubt came because L&M had taken frequent 1/8-page ads in the paper to tout its chew and the accompanying baseball cards.

Yet, Bowman Gum Co., which had early in the 1952 season, also run a handful of similar ads, was not mentioned in the paper’s editorial.

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