Sports card

From Academic Kids

Sports card is a generic term for a trading card with a sports-related subject, as opposed to non-sports trading cards. Sports cards were among the earliest, and remain one of the most popular, forms of collectibles. They typically consist of a picture of a player on one side, with statistics or other information on the reverse.

The first stage in the development of sports cards, during the second half of the 19th century, is essentially the story of baseball cards, since baseball was the first sport to become widely professionalized. Hockey cards also began to appear early in the 20th century. Cards from this period are commonly known as cigarette cards or tobacco cards, because many were produced by tobacco companies and sold as inserts in packages of cigarettes.

Cards have been produced featuring most major sports, especially those played in North America. Baseball cards remain the most widely collected form of sports card.

Sets of cards are issued with each season for major professional sports. Since companies typically must pay players for the right to use their images, the vast majority of sports cards feature professional athletes. Amateurs appear only rarely, usually on cards produced or authorized by the institution they compete for, such as a college.

Hockey Cards

Missing image
BillyCoutu.JPG


The first hockey cards were included in cigarette packages from 1910 to 1913. After World War I, only one more cigarette set was issued, during the 1924-25 season by Champ's Cigarettes. NHL player Billy Coutu's biography includes an example of one of the 40 cards issued at that time.

During the 1920s, some hockey cards were printed by food and candy companies, such as Paulin's Candy, Maple Crispette, Crecent, Holland Creameries and La Patrie.

Through to 1941, O-Pee-Chee printed hockey cards, stopping production for World War II. Presumably, the 1941 involvement of the US in the war affected the hockey card market, since Canada had been in the war since 1939.

Hockey cards next appeared during 1951-52, issued by Shirriff Desserts, York Peanut Butter and Post Cereal. Toronto's Parkhurst Products Company began printing cards in 1951, followed by Brooklyn's Topps Chewing Gum in 1954-1955. O-Pee-Chee and Topps did not produce cards in 1955 or 1956, but returned for 1957-58.

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