1913/1914 Derby Cigars Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Derby Cigars
Year 1913 or 1914
Size 1 3/4″ x 2 3/4″
Images Black and White
Type Tobacco
Number in Set
24

1913/1914 Derby Cigars Set Overview

09D McGraw.jpgThe Derby Cigars set is an obscure issue not recorded in the American Card Catalog. But thanks to some recent discoveries, much more is now known about it than collectors previously knew.

In terms of the design, cards have black and white player images inside of an oval against a red background. At the bottom is the player’s name (last name only) and position and a cream-colored border surrounds the entire card. All of the cards known to date are hand cut or were printed on panels

For the longest time, this appeared to be a 12-card New York Giants only set issued in 1909. The date was always speculative since the players featured were on the team for several years. However, the 1909 date stuck with collectors and wasn’t really challenged.

Then came 2012. That year, Heritage made a new discovery with a set of 12 players from the Philadelphia Athletics. Using deductive reasoning with the players involved, it was determined to be either a 1913 or 1914 issue. As Heritage states, the only time all 24 players in the two sets played together was 1913 – which just happened to be the year the two teams met in the World Series.

Therefore, while many collectors still refer to the Giants issue as a 1909 set, all of the cards were likely made either in 1913 or 1914 to commemorate the 1913 World Series. Cards and products were often printed to promote the series in the same year so this is often considered a 1913 issue now.

One additional note on the two sets is the presence of a small letter in the lower right hand corner. When only the Giants set was known, this was a bigger mystery. However, the discovery of the Athletics set seemed to clear that up. Giants cards have a ‘G’ inside of a circle while Athletics cards have an ‘A’ in the same manner. It’s clear that those indicated the letter for the name of the team they were on – possibly even in an effort to help uneducated spectators keep the players straight. They could have also been added to somehow aid in the printing and distribution process since the cards are all very similar looking.

Currently there are only 24 known cards in the set – 12 for each team. While it is possible that more could exist, the fact that each team has the same amount of known cards, I would expect the checklist is complete. They were likely to both receive the same number of cards and while no more than 12 have been found for either team, that could be it in terms of discoveries.

Derby Cigars also produced a set of Philadelphia Athletics players four years later in 1913. That set was just discovered in 2012.

1913/1914 Derby Cigars Checklist

New York Giants

  1. Josh Devore
  2. Larry Doyle
  3. Art Fletcher
  4. Buck Herzog
  5. Rube Marquard
  6. Christy Mathewson
  7. John McGraw
  8. Fred Merkle
  9. Chief Meyers
  10. Red Murray
  11. Fred Snodgrass
  12. George Wiltse

Philadelphia Athletics

Note that the Athletics cards have been found in strips of two. I have checklisted them as such, alphabetically.

  1. Home Run Baker / Jack Barry
  2. Chief Bender / Joe Bush
  3. Eddie Collins / Harry Davis
  4. Connie Mack / Eddie Plank
  5. Daniel Murphy / Wally Schang
  6. Rube Oldring / Amos Strunk

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