H804-34 Pink and Blue Trade Cards Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title H804-34 Pink and Blue Trade Cards
Year 1800s
Size 3″ x 4 1/4″
Images Color
Type Trade
Number in Set

H804-34 Pink and Blue Trade Cards Overview

prewarcards-h804-34_pink_and_blue_-_rolling_up_sleevesThis set is part of the baseball comic series of trade cards. Noted collector Frank Keetz assigned it the designation of H804-34 as well as its name, the Pink and Blue trade cards.

The cards feature color images of a boy pictured with a baseball bat. The set is known for its pink and blue coloring in the scenes. The cards are a stark contrast from most other trade cards using a variety of colors. The distinctive look makes it easy to identify these cards.

As is the case with most trade cards, these are relatively fragile and printed on thinner card stock. For that reason, they can be torn or ripped quite easily and damaged easier than standard baseball cards.

Many trade cards were used by numerous companies and that may be the case with this set. However, of the dozens I have seen to date, all have ads only for Poor Man’s Dyes as this one shown here does.

While that product seems to be the featured one in this set, the cards do have a variety of stores printed/stamped on them that would have offered the product. The fonts of the Poor Man’s Dyes name vary but the layout of the cards does not. The Poor Man’s Dyes name is at the top with ‘For Sale by’ printed directly below that. Stock cards would have left the remaining part blank but on regular cards, a specific distributor/vendor name is to the left below that phrase along with their city and state to the right, advising where the product could be purchased.

New Unchecklisted Discovery

H804-34 Pink and Blue Unchecklisted CardFrank Keetz cataloged three cards in this set in his popular book, “Baseball Advertising Trade Cards, 3rd Edition.” But while he could identify only three, a fourth is now known to exist.

In 2018, I found a previously unchecklisted card in this issue. The interesting thing is that not only was it not listed in any reliable checklist for the set, it also helps tell a story of sorts.

The three cards in the set previously showed an abused boy. Two depicted him being hit with a broom and a third shows him rolling up his sleeves. That card appears to be a precursor to the fourth recently discovered card.

This new card shows the boy standing on top of the adult that likely was the protagonist with the broom. The cards showing the boy being hit with the broom were likely the first two cards. The third would have been him rolling up his sleeves, readying to fight back. The new card shows the boy triumphant.

Baseball or Cricket?

The card shown above depicts a boy being pushed back by the bristles of a broom. None of that is key for baseball card collectors. It’s the baseball bat that is of most interest.

Keetz says in his book that the cards could possibly depict cricket instead of baseball. However, I do not believe that to be the case due to the shape of the bat in the boy’s hand, which clearly has an uneven barrel size, which cricket bats have a uniform width.

Further, Poor Man’s Dyes was an American product and cricket has little influence here.

For those reasons, this is certainly a baseball issue.

Interesting Variation … and a Fifth Card?

H804-34 Alternate Trade Card.jpgH804-34 PInk and Blue Trade CardWhile the pink and blue cards showing a boy with a baseball bat are largely known by baseball trade collectors, at least one pose actually was used on other trade cards.

Shown here, these are without the familiar pink and blue theme and instead feature a card with many more colors. Most notably the shown falling backward after being pushed by a broom is holding a sword instead of a baseball bat. Cards bear the name Liebig on them, which was a meat extract company with numerous trade cards.

It is unknown if these variations can be found with all three of the poses in the pink and blue set or if only the ball falling backward with a bat is the only pose that was used. It is also unknown which card may have originated first.

The advertiser for these cards was also different. While the pink and blue set was produced with advertisements for Poor Man’s Dyes, these cards are found with advertisements for The Great American Tea Company. It is unknown if other advertisers utilized them.

Another interesting development with the find of the Liebig issue is that the card shown here features the number five on it. Previously, I didn’t think much of this but with the discovery of a fourth card in the set, I began to wonder if a fifth card could exit. Time will tell.

H804-34 Pink and Blue Trade Cards Checklist

The cards in the set are not captioned. Below is a checklist of the cards based on Keetz’s descriptions in his book.

  1. Boy, erect with bat, rolling up sleeves
  2. Boy with bat, falling backward, broom hitting face
  3. Boy with bat, leaning forward, hat falling off, broom to rear
  4. Boy standing on adult with bat and broom (previously unchecklisted until 2018)

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