1932 Bulgaria Cigarettes Sport-Photos Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Bulgaria Cigarettes Sport Photos
Year 1932
Size 1 5/8″ x 2 3/8″
Images Black and White
Type Tobacco
Number in Set
272

Bulgaria Cigarettes Sport-Photos Overview

Bulgaria Sport - Bill TildenThe 1932 Bulgaria Cigarettes Sport-Photos set included nearly 300 cards. Only one, however, featured a baseball player in New York Yankees star Babe Ruth.

The formal name of the release is the Bulgaria Sport-Photos set, even though most typically shorten it to Bulgaria Sport these days. That name leads some to believe they are photos but these are indeed tobacco cards, albeit less narrow than most collectors are used to. While the name might suggest these are Bulgarian cards, this is actually a German issue and Bulgaria Cigarettes was a brand name. Because of that, many of the subjects found in it are German.

The massive set of cards could really be viewed more as small photographs if they were printed on a thinner stock. But these have a slightly glossy front, thick white borders, and are printed on a standard type of cardstock you’d expect for the period, albeit a bit thin.

The set includes baseball (via Babe Ruth) as well as hockey, football, golf, tennis, boxing, and more. Bill Tilden is a key tennis card and Walter Hagen is the key golf card. Other tennis Hall of Famers include Henri Cochet and Bunny Austin. Additional popular athletes include aviator Charles Lindbergh, swimmer/actor Johnny Weissmuller, and ice skater Sonja Henie, among others. Some athletes, like Henie, are featured on more than one card. A popular non-sports subject that is that of dictator Benito Mussolini. Mussolini is shown honoring German equestrian champions and his card is valued as that of some of the star athletes.

While many of the cards reference older dates in the 1920s on the back, the set can be dated to no earlier than 1932 because of some that have a reference to the 1932 Olympics (held in February of that year), seemingly the year of production.

The set is broken down, mostly grouping athletes by sport. Below is how the checklist sorts out. The assorted athletes at the end includes a wide mix of subjects. There, coincidentally, are some of the more sought after cards of Ruth, Schmeling, Sonja Henie, and American football.

  • Cards 1-90 (Track and Field)
  • Cards 91-139 (Soccer, Rugby, Handball)
  • Cards 140-144 (Field Hockey)
  • Cards 145-150 (Ice Hockey and Winter Sports)
  • Cards 151-164 (Tennis)
  • Cards 165-179 (Swimming, Diving, Water Sports)
  • Cards 180-192 (Rowing and Sailing)
  • Cards 193-212 (Skating and Skiing)
  • Cards 213-215 (Fencing)
  • Cards 216-219 (Golf)
  • Cards 220-225 (Horse Riding)
  • Cards 226-238 (Motor Sports and Cycling)
  • Cards 239-245 (Aviation)
  • Cards 246-272 (Assorted Athletes)

Babe Ruth and Max Schmeling

1932-bulgaria-sport-tobacco-babe-ruthA black and white image of Ruth is on the front of his card while the back includes a writeup of the pair. The card is an interesting one as Ruth isn’t the only high-profile athlete on it. Joining the future Hall of Fame baseball player was boxing champion Max Schmeling. Schmeling happened to be in Cleveland for a heavyweight fight at the same time Ruth was there with his Yankees facing the Indians on the road in 1931.

All things considered, this is a tremendous pre-war card featuring arguably the top two athletes in their sport. It is easily the key card in the set, usually starting around $200-$300 in decent condition.

As I covered here, while Ruth is what draws collectors to the card today, Schmeling would have been the focal point when the card was produced. In fact, it is possible to suggest that Ruth would have not even been in the set if not for Schmeling’s appearance beside him.

The back, written in German, gives a short biography and calls Ruth the ‘baseball king’ from the unknown sport from across the ocean. The Ruth and Schmeling card is No. 256 in the set.

Despite the card being a contemporary issue from Ruth’s playing days, it is easily one of Ruth’s more affordable cards from when he was still an active player. In even mid-grade condition, it can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars.

Hockey and Football, Too

In addition to the Ruth card, a second major American sport is included as a few hockey cards are there as well. Some action shot cards are in the set as is one for Dr. Blake Watson, a former amateur Canadian and European hockey star. Watson was likely included in the set not because of his Canadian background but because he later played in Germany, where this set was produced.

Watson, though, was known for more than hockey. He became an obstetrician and a dentist, and also is said to have had many celebrity patients, including Gary Cooper, Fred Astair, Judy Garland, Greta Garbo, and others.

On the football front, American football is featured on a singular card. Card No. 258 depicts the sport, calling it ‘Rugby in U.S.A.’ The front shows an unnamed punter and it is not clear who the player is. The back of the card talks about the popularity of the sport in America and that some of the stadiums hold 100,000 or more spectators. Interestingly, the player is shown punting the ball while he is called a full back on the reverse.

Bulgaria Cigarettes Sport-Photos Checklist

Major sports are indicated in parentheses.

  1. Gelius-München u. Lorenz-Frankfurt
  2. Besitzerinnen der olympischen Bronze-Medailie
  3. Inge und Ellen Braumüller
  4. 4×100 m Staffel der Frankfurter Eintracht
  5. Frau Thymm-Junkers
  6. Gerda Pirch
  7. Frau Radke führt
  8. Deutschland – England
  9. Start zur Meisterschaft
  10. Fri. Dollinger vom i.F.C. Nürnberg
  11. Frau Radke-Batschauer
  12. Japans Hoffnung Hitomi
  13. Fri Dollinger beglückwünscht Miss Halstead
  14. Ethel Catherwood
  15. Selma Grieme von den Bremer Sportfreunden
  16. Famose Haltung
  17. Fri. Haase – SCC
  18. Fri. von Bredow
  19. Fri. Notte-Düsseldorf
  20. Inge Braumüller
  21. Fri. Fleischer-Eintracht-Frankfurt a.M.
  22. Die Weltrekordlerin im Speerwerfen
  23. Ellen Braumüller
  24. Die Polin Konopacka
  25. Weltrekord?
  26. Der ideale Typ einer Mehrkämpferin
  27. Grete Heublein-Elberfeld
  28. Der fliegende Mensch
  29. Williams – Kanada
  30. Eddie Tolan
  31. Charles Borah
  32. Helmuth Körnig
  33. Horben und Corts
  34. Geerling
  35. Rau, Kern
  36. Jonath
  37. Drei-Länderkampf Deutschland-Frankreich-Schweiz
  38. 100 m-Klasse
  39. Eintracht-Frankfurt a.M.
  40. Körnig gibt an Schlößke
  41. Die Weitrekordstaffel des S.C.C.
  42. Astroem-Finnland
  43. Rampling, England
  44. Bowen – U.S.A.
  45. Jochen Büchner
  46. Metzner-Eintracht Frankfurt a.M.
  47. Nöller-Kölner B.C.
  48. Rinner, Osterreich
  49. Paavo Nurmi-Sportfest des S.C.C.
  50. Larva – Dr. Peltzer
  51. 800 m Finale Deutsche Meisterschaften 1931
  52. Goodwyn – U.S.A.
  53. Ladoumegue siegt
  54. Lowe – Dr. Peitzer
  55. 1500 Meter Klasse
  56. Loukola führt
  57. Paavo Nurmi
  58. Meister über 10000 m
  59. Schaumburg – Oberhausen
  60. Lehtinen – ein neuer Nurmi?
  61. Syring – Wittenberg
  62. de Bruyn – Deustchlands Marathon-Hoffnung
  63. Deutsche Hürdler von Klasse
  64. Weimann – Wacker – Leipzig
  65. Sten Petterson
  66. Yrjölä – Finnland
  67. Mäser – Königsberg
  68. Dzewas – Königsberg
  69. Wegener – Kieler T.V.
  70. Deutschlands große Hoffnung
  71. Fritsch – Darkehmen
  72. Eberle Berliner Sport – Club
  73. Weltrekordmann Hirschfeld
  74. Köchermann – Hamburg
  75. Wegener – Halle
  76. Mehr als 4 Meter!
  77. Der Kölner Mölle
  78. Deutschlands Stabhochsprung – Rekordmann
  79. Der Pommer Köpke
  80. Kimura – Japan
  81. Nambu, der Japaner
  82. Sabin Carr
  83. Der deutsche Turner Pasemann
  84. Olympiasieger Oda
  85. Zwei Hürdler von Weltklasse
  86. Lord Burghley
  87. Dr. Otto Peltzer
  88. Wessely-Oesterreich
  89. Prominente Zuschauer
  90. Kurt Weiss – Berlin
  91. Falconer
  92. Zamorra
  93. Hertha-B.S.C. – H.S.V.
  94. Heiner Stuhlfauth
  95. Willi Kress
  96. Rudi Hiden – Wien
  97. Jacob – Regensburg
  98. Brunke – Emmerich
  99. Hamburg – Berlin
  100. Kutterer
  101. Caligaris – Italien
  102. Hagen – Spielvg
  103. Heini Weber
  104. Schütz – Kress – Stubb
  105. Kada
  106. Lux, der Tennis Borusse
  107. Pledl – Kalb
  108. Georg Köhler – D.S.C.
  109. Georg Knöpfle
  110. Ludwig Leinberger – Fürth
  111. Stössel – D.S.C.
  112. Richard Hofmann
  113. Fußball – Artist Hofmann
  114. Hofmann schießt
  115. Sindelar – Wien
  116. Hanne Sobeck
  117. Josef Pöttinger – München
  118. Czepan – Kuzorra
  119. Sackenheim – D.S.C.
  120. Heimchen – Chemnitz
  121. Fritz Müller – D.S.C.
  122. Karl Schlösser – D.S.C.
  123. D.S.C. – Internationale
  124. Richter und Hogan
  125. Prominente Zuschauer
  126. Deutschland – Schottland 1:1
  127. Deutschland – England
  128. Deutschland – Ungarn 5:3
  129. Deutschland – Schweiz in Leipzig
  130. D.F.B. Finale 1931 Hertha B.S.C. – München1860 3:2
  131. Die Deutschen Kommen
  132. Um die Deutsche Mesiterschaft
  133. D.H.C. – Berlin, Deutscher Hanball-Meister
  134. Handball-Finale 1931
  135. Österreich – Deutschaldn 9:10
  136. Böhme – Freital
  137. Kaundynia Schießt
  138. Cuchra – Berlin
  139. Deutschland – Holland 2:2
  140. Damen – Hockey
  141. Deutschland – Dänemark 6:0
  142. Die Weltrekordlerin Fri. Hargus – Lübeck
  143. Die Indischen Weltmeister
  144. Der Berliner Scherbarth
  145. Grau und Brehme
  146. Kilian – Huber
  147. Deutsche Siegen in Davos
  148. Eishockey – Saisonanfang (Hockey)
  149. Dr. B. Watson – Canada (Hockey)
  150. Auf dem Rießersee (Hockey)
  151. Freifrau Paula von Reznicek (Tennis)
  152. Otha, der Japaner (Tennis)
  153. Daniel Prenn (Tennis)
  154. Roderich Menzel-Prag (Tennis)
  155. Weltmeister (Henri) Cochet (Tennis)
  156. (Bunny) Austin – Dr. Landmann (Tennis)
  157. Cilly Aussem (Tennis)
  158. Dr. Dessart und Nourney (Tennis)
  159. Von Cramm – Hannover und Kirby – Süafrika (Tennis)
  160. (Bill) Tilden und Alonso (Tennis)
  161. Hilde Krahwinkel (Tennis)
  162. Boussus, Zweifacher Deutscher Meister (Tennis)
  163. Der Dresdner Haensch (Tennis)
  164. Heini Schomburgk (Tennis)
  165. Jonny Weissmüller
  166. Olympiasieger Tsuruta
  167. Spence
  168. Dr. Baranyi – Taris
  169. Fri. Braun, Hollands Stoiz
  170. Fri. Jordan – Nürnberg
  171. Schubert – Breslau
  172. Eine Junge Meisterin
  173. Wassernixen
  174. Fri. Kapp – Frankfurt a.M.
  175. Deutschlands Wasserball-Mannschaft
  176. Dora Schönemann – Dresden
  177. Olga Jordan, Elfriede Sasserath
  178. Derichs – Köln
  179. Frau Reni Erkens-Küppers
  180. Amiciti – Mannheim Siegt
  181. Herbert Buhtz
  182. Müller-Moeschter
  183. Amicitia – Mannheim
  184. Dresdener Ruderinnen
  185. Der Berliner Ruder – Club
  186. Flaute
  187. 75 qm – Schären – Kreuzer
  188. Auf Hamburgs Alster
  189. Au dem Müggelsee
  190. Zachau – Weferling
  191. Leykam – Rein – Becher
  192. Fleming-Eichler
  193. Sonja (Henie) Beim Tanz
  194. Amerikanische Eis – Schnelläufer
  195. Weltmeisterin Sonja Henie
  196. Fritzi Burger – Wien
  197. Ein Kind als Meisterin
  198. Drei Weltmeister
  199. Claas Thunberg
  200. Utterstroem Olympiasieger 1932
  201. Internationale Ski – Größen
  202. Zwei Olympiasieger
  203. Walter Motz – München
  204. Rudi Mat
  205. Fri. Eva Wiedemann
  206. Erich Recknagel
  207. Baronin v. Herwarth
  208. Fri. Grete Matousek
  209. Ein Meisterhafter Sprung
  210. Gusti Müller-Bayrisch-Zell
  211. Karl Neuner
  212. Martin Neuner
  213. Helene Mayer
  214. Der Welt Beste Fechterin
  215. Meister Casmir
  216. Frau Sellschopp – Hamburg (Golf)
  217. Frau Von Szlavy – Ungarn (Golf)
  218. Jungnickel – Hamburg (Golf)
  219. Walter Hagen – Amerika (Golf)
  220. Fri. Erika Brochek
  221. Oberleutnant Momm
  222. Eine Rassige Amazone
  223. Mussolini Ehrt Deutsche Könner
  224. Rittmeister v. Barnekow
  225. Frau von Opel
  226. Major Segrave
  227. Caracciola
  228. Weltrekordmann Campbell
  229. Hans von Stuck
  230. Toni Bauhofer – München
  231. v. Morgen und Udet
  232. Burggaller
  233. Walter Sawall – Berlin
  234. Erich Möller
  235. Mathias Engel
  236. Oszmella Führt
  237. Zwei Deutsche Meister
  238. Paul Krewer
  239. Liesel Bach
  240. Kunstflieger Udet
  241. Hauptmann Köhl
  242. Charles Lindbergh
  243. Deutsche Flieger-Königinnen — Liesel Bach, Thea Rasche, Elly Beinhorn
  244. Ein König der Luft
  245. Weltrekord – Segelflieger Groenhoff
  246. Dr. Bauwens – Köln
  247. Felix Linnemann
  248. Dr. Karl Ritter von Halt
  249. Dr. Weber (Tennis)
  250. Herzog Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg
  251. Excellenz Lewald
  252. Dr. Carl Diem
  253. Gustav Jaenecke und Sonja Henie (Ice Hockey and Tennis)
  254. Max Schmeling und Seine Mutter (Boxing)
  255. Mitteldeutsche Sportführer
  256. Babe Ruth and Max Schmeling (Baseball and Boxing)
  257. Gertrud Ederle
  258. Rugby in U.S.A. (Football)
  259. Alles Andere als das! – Eddie Tolan
  260. Deutschland – Frankreich
  261. Johnny Mills mit Cicero
  262. Rugby – Fußball
  263. Weltrekordmann Mühlberger
  264. Charly Mills
  265. Meister im Schießen
  266. Ismayr-München
  267. Chamberlain, der Ozean-Bezwinger
  268. Reichspräsident Hindenburg
  269. Die Ozeanflieger bei Dr. Stresemann
  270. Hirschfeld Begrüßt Lord Burghley
  271. Helden der Luft
  272. Dr. Eckener und Sohn

Follow Pre-War Cards on Twitter and also be sure to like our page on Facebook.