1933 Stoodleigh’s Sports Series Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Stoodleigh’s Sports Series
Year 1933
Size 1 1/2″ x 5″
Images Black and White
Type Trade Cards
Number in Set
8 (?)

1933 Stoodleigh’s Sports Series Set Overview

howie morenz stoodleighProduced in 1933, the Stoodleigh’s Restaurant set is one of the most elusive in all of the hockey card industry. This black and white issue was apparently produced for Stoodleigh’s Restaurant, which was located in Toronto.

A player’s picture is near the top with his name and a biography below. At the bottom is a brief mention that the cards belong to the Stoodleigh Sports Series. The backs have printed schedules for the Maple Leafs’ home games in 1933.

The ‘cards’ really have the appearance of more of a bookmark. They are printed on cardboard but are long and narrow, measuring about 5″ long. With a schedule on the back and the Stoodleigh’s name on the front (the exact name for the cards is the Stoodleigh Sports Series), it’s clear they were meant to be more of a promotional item and a ‘temporary’ item as opposed to a traditional trading card.

To date, only a few have been discovered and even a full checklist was not known until recently. Until this weekend, only four were known, according to this article. However, a recent find of the cards by a Toronto collector has given us what could be the complete checklist, which has been provided below. The known checklist includes eight cards, including several Hall of Famers, such as Howie Morenz, King Clancy, and Ace Bailey.

One of the more curious inclusions is surrounding No. 5 Tom Daly. Daly was not a player, rather, he was the team’s trainer. He is pictured in a baseball uniform on the card but that is because he was also the trainer for Toronto’s International League baseball team.

Value for the cards is up in the air as no public sale records seem to exist.

Dating

1933 Stoodleigh Hockey Back.jpgWhile PSA has listed these cards as 1932 issues, that seems to be a question mark. The backs of these cards seem to indicate they are from 1933.

Backs of the cards include an ad for Stoodleigh’s restaurant. But the most helpful part in trying to date this issue is the schedule of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ home games, which is printed at the top.

The schedules on the back of the cards all begin with the team’s January 31 game against New York. However, Toronto played several other games in January prior to that one. The team was largely on the road early in 1933 but did play four of their contests at home prior to the January 31 game.

Why is that important? Well, if these cards were legitimately printed in 1932, they would seemingly have included those games, too. After all, why print a schedule with the team’s upcoming games but not include all of them?

Because the first game printed on them is from January 31, 1933, that would seem to indicate that they were printed earlier in the month after earlier games had already passed.

I suppose it would be possible to print the cards but, knowing they couldn’t get them until many of the games had passed, perhaps leave those games off. But typically, when dating a set, we go by when it was released to the public. And under that scenario, it is hard to imagine these would have been distributed in 1932 and leave out so much of the team’s January schedule.

While the date remains somewhat up in the air, I believe that evidence points to them more likely being from 1933 instead of 1932.

1933 Stoodleigh’s Sports Series Set Checklist

  1. King Clancy
  2. Lorne Chabot
  3. Howie Morenz
  4. Harold Cotton
  5. Tom Daly (trainer)
  6. Ace Bailey
  7. Lester Patrick
  8. Red Horner

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