Some Vintage Stock

As I track down some of the lesser known Sox players on my All-Time Collection needs, I have today some pick ups I made off of eBay over the last week.


1910-11 M116 Sporting Life Pat Donahue

The approximately 1.5″ x  2.75″  cards were originally offered to fans through the mail in as 24 different, 12-card series. Universally regarded as classic depictions from the game’s pre-War period, the card images are from noted photographer Carl Horner, best known for shooting the T206 “white border” cards.

This is my first M116 Red Sox card, as I had been eyeing this one and a couple of others lately. It’s also one of my oldest cards along with a T206 Bill Carrigan I have. The above card is still in great shape for an issue that is 107 years old. The one thing you’ll notice between the M116 and say, the T206 are the color and tone. The Sporting Life colors are more muted or pastel like and the uniforms are often gray or brown and lacking any team name on the fronts. 

Pat Donahue played for three different teams over the course of two years of organized baseball. The back up catcher played 102 games for the Red Sox during 1908-10. He went a combined 66 hits in 308 at bats while batting a lowly .211. One little fact uncovered (per one of the authoritative writers on all things Red Sox writer Bill Nowlin) was that the Cleveland Indians once paid Pat Donahue $200 for a tip that led to the signing of Bob Feller in 1935. Of course, they later gave him another $200 to forestall him from making any claims for additional compensation. Ouch!


I do like the old time advertisement on the backs of the Sporting Life, pretty cool if you ask me.


1933 Goudey Bernie Friberg and John Welch

Once again with these two cards, I picked up an issue I didn’t have in my collection. I’m actually tempted to pick up the reprints of these two so I can put these in top loaders and put with my special Red Sox cards that I have in a separate box. This box is set aside for my graded, relics, autos, and oversized issues I have. I’ll continue to sprinkle those into future posts. Anyhow, as I write this post and examine the cards, I really like these so much more now that I have them in person. Nothing done in Photoshop here, what you see is the actually coloring—the colors really pop!


The Goudey 1933 Big League Gum set really initiated a Golden Age for collectibles. The cards’ most recognizable feature is their 2-3/8″ by 2-7/8″ size, as well as colorful, artistic illustrations that set a modern standard in terms of eye-appeal. Minus some flawed corners and writing on the back of John Welch’s card, these are quickly becoming a couple of my favorites that I own. That’s it, I need to purchase the reprints, these two are too nice to sit in album!


1939 Play Ball Emerson Dickman and Fred Ostermueller

The ’39 Play Balls seem to be the one Pre-War set I have the most Red Sox from. Outside of the Ted Williams rookie and WWII spy, Moe Berg, the Sox found in this issue are no names and can be found in decent shape (at least in my collecting needs) for under ten bucks a pop. I’ve always liked these cards. There’s some great photography and the write ups are pretty good.


One interesting note about “Fritz” I found on SABR’s BioProject site …

On July 31 at Yankee Stadium, Ostermueller gave up Babe Ruth’s 703rd career home run as New York triumphed, 2-1. The Bambino socked another round-tripper off Fritz on August 11 at Fenway (No. 705), but in a losing cause, as Ostey pitched all the way to record a 13-inning, 3-2 victory. It was Ruth’s last season as a Yankee; after Fritz struck him out, he rewarded the rookie left-hander with an autographed baseball. The ball is now the centerpiece in the memorabilia collection of Sherrill Ostermueller Duesterhaus, the daughter of Fritz and Faye Ostermueller.

So chalk off five names on my All-Time Sox list. While I was writing this post, I DID purchase a Friberg Goudey reprint and a Yawkey Red Sox Welch card so that the two Goudeys above, can go in my special Sox box. In addition to these, I just landed nine other Sox cards I needed, they were either odd ball cards or reprints. Slowly but surely, knocking names off left and right and I’m almost to the point where I’m down to guys that never appeared on a trading card. Time to get cracking on those customs.


4 thoughts on “Some Vintage Stock”

  1. Great cards all around, but to me the highlight of the past HAS to be that Sporting Life card back. Just awesome!


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