Thursday, June 23, 2011

1947 Smiths Oakland Oaks

Card Front

Set size: 25 cards, all featuring the minor league Oakland Oaks.

Front Design: 2"x3" cards feature a full-bleed black and white posed photo; the bottom of the card fronts are white with the player's name, team name, position, and card number in black ink.

Back Design: The top 2/3 of the card backs contain a short paragraph on the player, containing occasional stats and career anecdotes. The bottom third of the card is an advertisement for Smiths Clothing stores in Oakland.

Parallels and Similars: A nearly-identical set was issued the next year with the same design. The 1948 set was issued on heavier, glossy card stock.

Card Back
Distribution: Unknown, though it is most likely the cards were given away at the stadium or store over a period of time - one card is extremely rare.

Thoughts: One of the first post-war issues, especially for minor league releases, any set older than Topps has a story of its own. Unfortunately, the story of this set is mostly untold. Smiths Clothing no longer exists, and neither does the building or even the intersection mentioned on the card, lost to high-rise development. The Oaks haven't existed for more than half a century. The 1947 Oaks were the home to manager Casey Stengel before he managed the Yankees, but not much else as far as important players. I'm a fan of oddball sets, and this one fits the bill quite well - issued by a clothing store and featuring a now-extinct local minor league team. The design is simple, as expected for a minor issue from that time period.

Additional Links: Fellow type set blog Number 5 Type Collection really me to this set, and I didn't realize it until I started researching for this post. There are about 2400 cards issued before 1980, and one of Matthew's first posts was on this set. What are the odds? Old Cardboard, a site I use extensively when dealing with, well, old cardboard, also has a page on this set.

Additional Images:

No comments:

Post a Comment