Imperial Lacrosse (C59) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Imperial Lacrosse (C59)
Year 1910 or 1911
Size 1 7/16″ x 2 9/16″
Images Color
Type Canadian / Tobacco
Number in Set

Imperial Lacrosse (C59) Set Overview

When it comes to vintage and pre-war lacrosse cards, the C59, C60, and C61 sets distributed in Canada are king.

Despite the American Card Catalog designation, the C59 set is sometimes believed to have actually been issued after C60. In that book, the description of the C59 set reads, “Leading Players in Can. National Game” and the set is sometimes referred to as the Lacrosse Leading Players set.

As stated on this lacrosse page, the C59 checklist is virtually identical to the C60 checklist. C59, however, has two additional cards, No. 99 and No. 100.

The release date of these cards seems to vary depending on the source. Some cite the C59 set as a 1910 issue while others say 1911. Some references even say 1909. The cards feature color lithographic images of famous lacrosse players on the front. The layout of the cards is similar to tobacco cards for other sports with a simple white border and the subject’s name and team at the bottom. A somewhat unique aspect is that a card number appears at the top.

Backs of the cards have the title “Lacrosse Series” at the top and the “Leading Players in the Canadian National Game” at the bottom, which is where Jefferson Burdick drew his reference to that name for the American Card Catalog. The middle of the card includes a shield with a lacrosse design, along with the player’s name and brief career history.

The backs of the cards are extremely important to differentiating them from the C60 Imperial cards. While these cards include a shield and more elaborate design, the C60 cards have a more basic design with a pair of lacrosse sticks at the top and no mention to the Leading Players title.

Most of the names will not be familiar to sports card collectors these days. However, the set is known for producing early cards of hockey stars that also played the sport of lacrosse. The most notable of these, arguably, was Hockey Hall of Famer Edouard “Newsy” Lalonde. Some players have two cards in the set and Lalonde is one of those, making this release extra difficult to assemble. Another notable name is Boxing Hall of Famer Tommy Burns, who appears in the set. Burns is the only Canadian-born World Heavyweight champion and, like Lalonde, played a bit of lacrosse. Other Hockey Hall of Famers in the set include the likes of Paddy Moran, Joseph Malone, and Bouse Hutton.

The cards are quite rare, though that has not yet translated into a value commensurate with that. Low-grade cards in the set typically start in the $15-$25 range. But the cards are undeniably rare and were produced in much fewer quantities than the baseball issues that were issued in the U.S.

Condition Issues

One interesting aspect that I’ve observed is that a good number of these cards seem to have hand cut edges. The reason for these cuts is not clear but they do appear at a disproportionately high rate compared to other tobacco issue, leading us to possibly wonder if a large amount were hand cut in factories as opposed to these cuts being the product of individual collectors.

Additionally, production issues included many cards that were cut off-center. Seeing cards badly off center in this set is quite common.

Imperial Lacrosse (C59) Set Checklist

  1. J. Muir
  2. D. Munday
  3. A.G. Dillon
  4. S. Rockford
  5. Jack McCarthy
  6. Wm. Tobin
  7. Chas. George
  8. Tom Keegan
  9. Ed McCarthy
  10. Morgan Quinn
  11. Jack Barry
  12. M. McIntyre
  13. H. Goodwin
  14. R. Pringle
  15. A. Currie
  16. T. Gorman
  17. J. Dooley
  18. B. Hutton
  19. J. Shea
  20. J. Powers
  21. H. Gaul
  22. E. Butterworth
  23. Geo. Marsh
  24. W. Eastwood
  25. John White
  26. A. McMillan
  27. Leonard Johnston
  28. Billie Burns
  29. Donald Cameron
  30. J. Clingen
  31. B. Degan
  32. F. Degan
  33. E. Sommerville
  34. D. Phalen
  35. V. Hassell
  36. F. Cummings
  37. Dude Sumner
  38. Bones Allen
  39. Ed Ravey
  40. Vernon Green
  41. Frank Ronan
  42. Tommy Burns
  43. J. Brennan
  44. A. Dade
  45. H. Scott
  46. J.B. Kenna
  47. J. O’Kane
  48. C. McKerrow
  49. A. Kane
  50. F. Hogan
  51. Geo. Roberts
  52. F. Scott
  53. R. Finlayson
  54. N. Neville
  55. J. Wintermute
  56. T. Gifford
  57. C. Galbraith
  58. G. Spring
  59. C. Spring
  60. Geo. Rennie
  61. A. Gray
  62. W. Turnbull
  63. L. Turnbull
  64. T. Rennie
  65. Jas. Feeney
  66. J. Gifford
  67. H. Murton
  68. Mickey Ions
  69. Roy Kinsman
  70. Neil Felker
  71. Jack MacKenzie
  72. A. Langlois
  73. J. Metivier
  74. A. DeBeaumont
  75. P. Moran
  76. C.L. Querrie
  77. R. Fortier
  78. Jos. Belanger
  79. R. Bernard
  80. L. Finet
  81. Fred Graydon
  82. D. Durkin
  83. J. McCormick
  84. J. Malone
  85. Jeff Malone
  86. P. Alain
  87. Henry Decaire
  88. Ernest Lachapelle
  89. Edmond Clement
  90. Joseph Cattarinich
  91. Eug. Gauthier
  92. Jos. Lamoureux
  93. Olivier Secours
  94. Eloi Dulude
  95. Edouard L’Heureux
  96. Fred Gagnon
  97. Edouard (Newsy) Lalonde
  98. Georges Dusseault
  99. Dude Sumner
  100. Edouard (Newsy) Lalonde

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