Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Better than a Blaster Viva Cuba Libre Edition



We all do it we at times, we aimlessly flip through a print baseball card catalogue to pass the time. Often we come across a card or an issue we didn’t know or forgot we knew of. Well this happened to me recently as I flipped through my copy of the 2011 Standard Catalogue of Baseball Cards when I found an obscure pre-revolution Cuban baseball card issue with a couple of Cardinals! Curious I searched EBay and sure enough there are a few available and for less than the cost of a blaster I picked up this beauty a 1946-47 Propaganda Montiel #82 Marty Marion. This may be the first card I get graded.


Most Cuban issues naturally focused on the Cuban Professional League, which often included former and future Major League players, HOFers, as well as Negro League players. Important to know is these Cuban issues often contained the only cards of many Negro League players. Issues often included other athletes in other sports such as boxing as well as entertainers too. These cards were on the whole small-think of the early Bowman. Some, perhaps all, issues had a companion album to stick them in which of course is a condition killer. On EBay $1200 will get you this.



But all good things must come to an end and with the communist take over of Cuba these issues stopped, however, this doesn’t mean Cuba stopped issuing cards. They have issued cards such as this 1994 card (Buy Here) and perhaps with the opening of Cuba these and older ones will become more available.

I decided to determine what other Cuban issues are there and do they have Redbirds? Below is a survey of all of the Cuban issues from the 2011 edition. This is not an exhaustive list of Cuban cards.

1923-1924 Biliken

Issued with or by: Cigars
Number of Cards: 60
Baseball Players: Cuban Professionals and Negro Leaguers
Other Subjects: No
STL Cardinals: No

1923-1924 Tomas Gutierrez

Issued with or by: Cigars
Number of Cards: 85
Baseball Players: Cuban Professionals and Negro Leaguers
Other Subjects: No
STL Cardinals: No

1923-1924 La Moda 

Issued with or by: Cigars
This issue parallels the 1923-1924 Biliken issue but is rarer at one La Moda to ten Biliken

1923-1924 Nacionales Cigars

Issued with or by: Cigars
Number of Cards: 100
Baseball Players: Cuban Professionals and armatures, and Negro Leaguers
Other Subjects: No
STL Cardinals: No
Contains the only contemporary card of HOFer Willie Foster

1924 Diaz Cigarettes

Issued with or by: Cigarettes
Number of Cards: 150ish
Baseball Players: Major League Players (Pitchers Only) includes HOFers such as Grover C. Alexander
Other Subjects: No
STL Cardinals: Yes. William “Bill” Doak, Leo Dickerman, Edward “Jeff “Pfeiffer, Allen Sothoron, Johnny Stuart,

1924-1925 Aguilitas Segundos

Issued with or by: Cigars
Number of Cards: 900
Baseball Players: Cuban Professionals
Other Subjects: Actors and other athletes
STL Cardinals: No

1926-1927 Aguilitas

Issued with or by: Cigars
Number of Cards: 850ish
Baseball Players: Cuban Professionals and Cuban nationals
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

1930 Baguer Chocolate

Issued with or by: Candy
Number of Cards: 90
Baseball Players: Current and former Major Leaguers such as Babe Ruth
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: Yes. Burleigh Grimes, Earl Smith, Jimmie Wilson, Jim Bottomley, Frankie Frisch, Andy High, Taylor Douthit, and Bill Hallahan.

The 1930 Baguer Chocolate issues is rare as all Cuban issues are but highly collected because of the current and former Major Leaguers included.  An EBay search turned up three Redbirds for sale-$70 will get you a PSA Graded Excellent Bill Hallahan.

1945-1946 Caramelo Deportivo 

Issued with or by: Caramels
Number of Cards: 100
Baseball Players: Former and future Major Leaguers, Negro Leaguers, Cuban Leaguers, Cuban Winter League players.
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

1946-1947 Almanaque Deportivo

Issued with or by: Alone?
Number of Cards: 160
Baseball Players: Former and future Major Leaguers, Caribbean stars, and Cuban Professionals and nationals
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No
This issue came in blocks of four.

1946-1947 Caramelo Deportivo 

Issued with or by: Caramels
Number of Cards: 185
Baseball Players: Former and future Major Leaguers, Negro Leaguers, Cuban Leaguers, Cuban Winter League players.
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

1946-1947 Propagandas Montiel Los Reyes


Issued with or by:
Number of Cards: 180
Baseball Players: Current, Former and future Major Leaguers, Negro Leaguers, players from the Florida International League, and Cuban players.
Other Subjects: Boxes and wrestlers.
STL Cardinals: Yes. Stan Musial, Marty Marion, and Joe Medwick as well as former Redbird John Mize.
By far the most approachable Cuban issue with several on EBay at reasonable prices

1946-1947 Sensacion Premiums

Issued with or by: Magazine called Sensacion
Number of Cards: 38
Baseball Players: 27 Cuban Professionals and 11 Major Leaguers.
Other Subjects: No.
STL Cardinals: Yes. Stan Musial, Howie Pollet

1947 Brillantina sol de Oro Managers 

Issued with or by: Shampoo
Number of Cards: 4
Baseball Players: Cuban League Managers only.
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

1948-1949 Caramelo Deportivo 

Issued with or by: Caramels
Number of Cards: 96
Baseball Players: Former and future Major Leaguers, Negro Leaguers, Cuban Leaguers, Cuban Winter League players.
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

Long time Major Leaguer Oreste “Minnie” Minosa has a card in this issue.

1949-1950 Acebo y Cia

Issued with or by: Match boxes
Number of Cards: 20
Baseball Players: Former and future Major Leaguers, Cuban Leaguers
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

1949-1950 Ansco Almendoros Scorpians 

Issued with or by: Ansco Cameras and Film
Number of Cards: 20
Baseball Players: Only Almendoros Scorpians the 1949-50 Champions of the Cuban Professional League
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

1956-1957 Chicle Peloteros 


Issued with or by: Gum
Number of Cards: 87
Baseball Players: Only Cuban Professional League players
Other Subjects: None
STL Cardinals: No

2 comments:

  1. Thank you Matt can't understand why it was so reasonable?

    ReplyDelete