HB3 / HB27 Base Ball Bank Dark Town Battery Trade Cards

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Base Ball Bank Dark Town Battery Trade Cards
Year Unknown
Size 3 1/4″ x 5 1/4″
Images Color
Type Trade
Number in Set

Base Ball Bank Dark Town Battery Trade Cards Overview


These are trade cards that were used to promote an item – more specifically, a toy bank with black baseball players. Two separate cards were produced for the product. One was a horizontal, full-color issue while the other was a vertical, single-color ink card. Both were approximately 3 1/4″ x 5 1/4″, although the vertical card is slightly larger.

Unlike some other trade cards, these was printed for only one specific product – a unique toy bank. When a coin was inserted into the hand of the pitcher and a lever was pressed, the coin was pitched to a hole the catcher and deposited as it went past the batter. The baseball bank was cast iron and advertised as being a little more than two inches tall and seven inches long. This bank was manufactured by J.E. Stevens Company.

The trade cards have a depiction of the bank sold by Hyde and Company in Boston, Massachusetts. The lithograph on the card was developed by Gast and Company in New York. A small No. 302 is also printed on the card to help identify it.

The bank is a great mechanical piece of history. You can see it in action here.

Cataloging Confusion

The American Card Catalog has two classifications for baseball bank card. Unfortunately, no further description is given on either. They are HB3 and HB27.

Some collectors classify the horizontal version as HB3 but I have not seen references to HB27. However, it is my belief that Jefferson Burdick probably intended the vertical issue of these cards to be HB27. I have not seen another baseball bank trade card and because one of these was horizontal and the other vertical, it makes sense that he would have categorized them as separate issues.

For that reason, I have categorized these cards as both HB3 and HB27. However, it is possible that one of Burdick’s two classifications could have been intended for a different issue.

Base Ball Bank Dark Town Battery Trade Cards Checklist

  1. Horizontal Full-Color Trade Card
  2. Vertical Single-Color Trade Card

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