Flashback Product of the Week: 1896 H818 Spalding Die-Cut Advertising Stand-Ups

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This is one of those very obscure sets that even the most experienced collectors may not have heard about.  Koerner & Hayes out of Buffalo, New York printed these up for Spalding back in 1896.  The official name of the set is 1896 H818 Spalding Die-Cut Advertising Stand-Ups.  It certainly isn’t the largest set in the world.  Only (5) cards make up the complete set.  I find it interesting as the cards aren’t of any specific athletes.  All you’ll find are generic people.  Try doing that in today’s hobby.

Like I said before, there are only (5) cards to the set.  Each one covers a different sport – baseball, football, cycling, golf, and tennis.  Spalding had these made up as a way to help promote their sporting goods.  Depending on the card, you’ll find a brief summary of the sport along with a basic outline of how that specific game is played.  The write-up on the cycling card however is basically just trying to sell you a bicycle.  According to the back of the card, a bike from Spalding would run you about $75.00.  That’s a lot of money in 1896.

Baseball Hall of Famer Henry Chadwick did the write-up on the baseball card.  The “Father of American Football”, Walter Camp, wrote the summary for the football one.  Sets like this really have a niche market.  The fact that there are no specific players is a main reason why it doesn’t appeal to many collectors.  But don’t let that fool you.  This set does have some value.  Complete sets have sold for $500.00.  That’s about $100.00 per card.  You’re obviously going to get more or less based on the condition.

Who wouldn’t want to see today’s football players dress like this?  I better not speak too loudly.  Panini might pull something like that.  We all know how much they like to dress up people for their studio shot photos.