Monday, April 22, 2013

Cobb became Cardinal in 1949 cover contest

When the St. Louis Cardinals upgraded their scorecard to a “Souvenir Program” for the 1949 season, they created a contest to design the cover.

The prize for the winning idea was worth $100. If the winner could produce acceptable final artwork, another $400 was awarded.

St. Louis commercial artist Frank W. Love was named the winner from among 390 sketches received. He took home all $500 with his knothole look at a play at third that many collectors recognize as a Charles Conlon photo of Ty Cobb sliding into third base, as seen on a 1929 T202 Hassan tobacco card.

Notice that on Love's creation, the "Cobb" figure is wearing a St. Louis Cardinals uniform.

Judges for the contest were J.G. Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News; D.R. Fitzpatrick, editorial cartoonist of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; James B. Wilson, president of the St. Louis Advertising Club; Harry Caray, Cardinals radio broadcaster, and, O.A. Zahner, vice-president of Ruthrauff & Ryan Advertising Agency.

Very reasonably priced today, a decent example of the 1949 Cardinals program can be had for less than $20.

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