Sunday, January 24, 2016

Players featured on shoe company premiums

One of my favorite stops when I was doing the card show circuit in the 1980s-1990s was the set up of Mike and Cindy Mosier of Columbia City Collectibles in Indiana.

When time and crowd size permitted, I always found something "uncataloged" on his tables or in the many boxes underneath and out front. There are many listings in the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards that are there because Mike would allow me photograph them.

Today, like much of the rest of the sports card/collectibles hobby, the Mosiers have adopted eBay as a primary sales venue. The day this was written, Columbia City had more than 8,000 listings on eBay. You can find his stuff there under the seller ID cocicoco.

It was there the other night that collector Sean Sullivan found an heretofore unseen item to add to his Joe Torre collection.

"I have never heard of it" Sullivan said. "The year (on the auction listing) is wrong, because he didn’t play for Atlanta until 1966 (when the Braves moved there from Milwaukee)."

Sullivan was initially concerned that the 9" x 12" black-and-white, blank-backed premium print might be a latter-day creation or fantasy. Doing some digging, Sullivan said, "I found a few 1966 or 1967 football premiums that look similar, and the Dallas Cowboys collectors' site lists a Fortune Shoes checklist for Dallas players in 1966."

So he took a chance and in fairly competitive bidding, bought the piece for $30.75, postpaid.

The picture of the Braves' catcher on this print is the work of old-school commercial illustrator Ed Vebell.

The line of type at the bottom of the print reads: "Fortune Shoe Company - A Division of Genesco - Nashville Tenn."

Sean's question to me -- and mine to you -- is: Are there there other baseball players in this series? If you can add to the "checklist," I'd be glad to get a scan or cell phone-photo.

A quick google search turned up a similar premium of Whitey Ford on eBay, and ads in Ebony magazine in the mid-1960s had Vebell illustrations of Willie Mays, John Henry Johnson, Gayle Sayers and Lennie Moore. The ads mentioned that a free copy of the player picture could be had by writing to the company.

At the time this was written Mosier's eBay offerings included Fortune premiums for these baseball players: Harmon Killebrew, Bill "Moose" Skowron, Ralph Terry and Tommy Davis, and football players: Don Meredith, Charlie Johnson, Johnny Unitas, Jim Taylor, Frank Ryan and Roman Gabriel.

Whatever information comes my way will be forwarded to the current editor of the Standard Catalog for possible future inclusion.

1 comment:

  1. Bob, you can add Whitey Ford and Willie Mays to the list. I have copies and can provide scans. Also have the Harmon Killebrew, Bill "Moose" Skowron, Ralph Terry, and Frank Torre.


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