1939 African Tobacco World of Sport Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title African Tobacco World of Sport
Year 1939
Size 1 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ (Small) and 2 1/4″ x 3 1/8″ (Large)
Images Black and White
Type Tobacco
Number in Set

1939 African Tobacco World of Sport Overview

1939 African Tobacco World of Sport Boxing

African World of Sport Babe Ruth.jpg

The 1939 African Tobacco World of Sport set consists of 100 different cards featuring various sports and athletes from around the world.

While the set doesn’t contain much in the way of the four major American sports, one baseball card of Yankees great Babe Ruth is included. That card, as you might imagine, is easily the headliner of the set. The card is one of Ruth’s earliest post-career cards and, even though it was printed after his playing days, it still can command well over $1,000, even in low-grade condition.

The cards were issued by African Tobacco Manufacturers out of Cape Town in South Africa. They were not printed on a regular card stock. Rather, they were printed on a thin stock with a smooth, semi-gloss finish. A collectable album for the set was also printed.

One unique aspect is that the cards were printed in both large and smaller versions. Larger cards measure about 2 1/4″ x 3 1/8″ while the other ones are noticeably smaller at approximately 1 3/4″ x 2 1/2″. The backs of the cards were printed in both English and Afrikaans languages. They included a short biography of the player as well as a card number. The cards have a basic look with a simple white border and black and white images. Names are not even presented on the fronts.

1939 African Tobacco World of Sport Tennis

1939 African Tobacco World of Sport Golf

In addition to baseball, other sports featured in the set are golf, boxing, tennis, and track and field, among others.

Besides Ruth, other notable figures in the set are boxer Joe Louis and track and field star Jesse Owens. Tennis players include Hall of Famers Fred Perry, Bill Tilden, Suzanne Lenglen, and others. Those cards, while not as desirable as the Ruth card, still draw heavy interest, sometimes selling for hundreds of dollars in high-grade condition.

The cards are somewhat scarce – particularly inside of the United States since this was a South African issue. PSA has not even graded 1,000 of them in all. However, with the invention of the Internet, the Ruth card especially is seen a good bit.

1939 African Tobacco World of Sport Checklist

  1. J. Jedrzejowska
  2. W.R. Hammond
  3. J. Guthrie
  4. H.H. Whitlock
  5. Katinka Larsen
  6. Yuvaraj
  7. C.B. Holmes
  8. E.A. Phelps
  9. Suzanne Lenglen
  10. Freddie MIller
  11. Glen Cunningham
  12. Steve Donoghue
  13. Pat Lee
  14. Thelma Kench
  15. Kay Stammers
  16. Sydney Wooderson
  17. Helen Jacobs
  18. Max Baer
  19. Roy Eccles
  20. Henry Cotton
  21. E.P. Souza
  22. Dorothy Round
  23. Irene Swatz
  24. Horace Lindrum
  25. Lawson Little
  26. John Henry Lewis
  27. G.V. Barna
  28. Catherine Rutherford
  29. L.E.G. Ames
  30. J.W. Dudderidge
  31. Senorita Lizana
  32. Len Harvey
  33. Eddie Pearce
  34. Babe Ruth (Baseball)
  35. P. Desjardines
  36. S. Cowan
  37. Marcel Thil
  38. Jean Batten
  39. B.L. Pendergast
  40. H. Larwood
  41. Johnny King
  42. Pam Barton
  43. H.W. Austin
  44. Malcolm Campbell
  45. Alex James
  46. A.P.F. Chapman
  47. Ben Johnson
  48. George Eyston
  49. B. Niehwenhuys
  50. Bill Tilden
  51. Tommy Farr
  52. A.D. Locke
  53. Colledge/Taylor
  54. Walter Lindrum
  55. Alice Marble
  56. Jack Torrance
  57. Temme/Bartle
  58. B. Bira
  59. Jack Doyle
  60. E.J. Drake
  61. W.R. Dean
  62. Lennie Rogers
  63. Sonja Henie
  64. Jackie Brown
  65. S. Rodrigues
  66. L. Becalli
  67. Campbell/McArthur
  68. Lily Copplestone
  69. Herbert Stucliffe
  70. Jock McAvoy
  71. S.J. McCabe
  72. Ben Foord
  73. J. Crawford
  74. Jules Noel
  75. Barbara Burke
  76. H.R. Verity
  77. Benny Lynch
  78. Gordon Richards
  79. Marjorie Clark
  80. C.A. Whitcombe
  81. Fred Perry
  82. Phyllis Harding
  83. Hardy Ballington
  84. Joe Louis
  85. K.S. Duleepsinhji
  86. H.F. Wade
  87. Louis Chiron
  88. E. Ruffli
  89. V. Canfield
  90. Jesse Owens
  91. Harold Dutch Smith
  92. E.L. Dalton
  93. J. Coulson
  94. Gem Hoahing
  95. J.E. Lovelock
  96. I.J. Seidle
  97. F. Hogh
  98. Merritt Bush
  99. Jerry Cornes
  100. Eddie Maguire

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