1888 At our Picnic Trade Cards Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Base Ball at our Picnic Trade Card
Year 1888
Size 3″ x 4 1/4″
Images Color
Type Trade
Number in Set
4 (?)

1888 At our Picnic Trade Cards Overview

Baseball at our Picnic Trade Card.jpgThese were trade cards that was used to promote a business. Businesses would print their information on various places on the card (front or back).

The highlight of the set, the baseball card, features a colorful baseball scene with the caption ‘Base Ball at our Picnic’ at the bottom. In the picture, a batter is shown along with a pitcher, catcher, and third baseman. Also in the shot is a large standing crowd with a pennant and an umpire in a cage. As is the case with other early baseball issues, the sport’s name is spelled as “Base Ball.”

While it is often believed that the card is a standalone issue, it is actually part of a set that includes at least three other cards. Other sports cards in the release are for football and tennis. A fourth card serves as a cover card of sorts, but is not sports related. It features a small group in a parade carrying a banner called “Our Picnic” and is titled “The Start.

The three other cards depict the sports played at the picnic. Those carry the ‘At Our Picnic’ theme, thus, creating an appropriate name for the set, which is how I have titled them here. The football card depicts a player kicking a ball, and it isn’t immediately clear if it is American football or soccer being pictured.

The cards are copyrighted to 1888. Aesthetically, they re known for wildly exaggerated features and movements. Athletes on the cards have sort of a slanted appearance with limbs that are purposefully thin. Beneath the image is a horizontal box that could be used for a sponsor advertisement.

The baseball card was numbered separately by noted trade card collector Frank Keetz in his book, “Baseball Advertising Trade Cards, 3rd Edition.”

1888 At our Picnic Trade Cards Checklist

Known cards to date are listed below. However, others could possibly exist.

  1. At the Start
  2. Baseball at our Picnic
  3. Foot-ball at our Picnic
  4. Tennis at our Picnic

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