T51 Murad College Sports Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title T51 Murad College Sports
Year 1909-11
Size 2″ x 2 5/8″
Images Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set
150 (225 in master set)

T51 Murad Overview

Adelphi Tennis T51 MuradT51 Baker GolfThe T51 Murad College Series cards were a set of cards featuring various colleges and sports. They are believed to be issued between 1909 and 1911. In the set are several baseball, basketball, football, and hockey cards among the 150 cards produced. Below is a checklist for the entire set with baseball, basketball, football, and hockey cards identified.

While they are generally referred to as ‘Murad’ cards, they are also sometimes referred to as the name of the producer as well – the S. Anargyros Company. That name is printed on the bottoms of the cards.

In all, there are eight baseball cards, six football cards, four basketball cards, and one hockey card in the set. While pre-war baseball cards are plentiful, the football, basketball, and hockey are some of the few pre-war cards in those sports that you’ll find. As you would expect, those generally draw the most interest.

The cards have a unique appeal and are often desired by non-collectors because they feature specific colleges and universities. They are particularly interesting because many of the cards depict athletes from obscure schools. Graduates of these schools are sometime interested in the cards, even if they aren’t necessarily trading card collectors.

While the big four sports are the most popular ones in the set, the release includes all sorts of other sports and activities. Golf, tennis, lacrosse, rowing, track and field, and others are all included. The set also includes some non-sports subjects. Some merely feature graduates while others feature outdoor activities, such as camping, hunting, and fishing. Some merely have a school pennant and a seal.

The cards were produced in six series of 25 cards each. Each card includes a color image and a college pennant and seal. These cards have a pretty broad appeal since they are popular with not only collectors, but also alumni of the various schools.

And as a brief aside, here are what I believe to be the top ten cards in the set.

First Basketball Cards?

Williams T51 Murad SGCThe four basketball cards (Xavier, Northwestern, Williams, and Luther) are particularly noteworthy. Many collectors view these as the first actual basketball issues ever produced. A few other issues possibly predate these but these are believed by most to be the first cards of actual college or professional U.S. teams.

Of the T51s basketball issues, the Williams card is considered the very first one since it is the only basketball card that was printed in the very first series of 25 cards. Northwestern is a close second because it was printed in the second series.

Here is more discussion on the earliest basketball cards, including the T51s.

The Murad Williams basketball has grown in values over the years and it has shown a spike recently. Even in modest condition, the card generally sells for more than $100 these days.

T51 Master Set

While there are 150 cards in all in the standard set, a master set with 225 total cards is possible.

in addition to the six series, there was also a second edition (printing) of the first two series, giving us an extra 50 cards. Those cards were marked with ‘2nd edition’ on them so cards missing that label are 1st edition cards.

That brings us to a total of 200 cards so far. Beyond the second edition, there are also 25 cards with number variations. Those are all cards found only in the first series and they have a small number printed onto the fronts. Add it all up and there are a grand total of 225 different cards.

It is also worth noting that many print flaws exist in the set with regards to coloring in the printing process. Some cards are missing the gold in the border areas and others have slight color variations as well. While these exist and could be considered by some to be additional variants that should be added to the checklist, I have left them out on mine since they are really due to errors in the printing process as opposed to actual print variations where text was added to cards.

Condition Notes

The cards are printed on somewhat thin cardstock and are easily susceptible to damage. It isn’t uncommon to find these cards with creases or even chunks of them missing. But that’s hardly the only thing that can plague them.

Because the cards have a gold foil border, they can sometimes be found with part of that wearing away. The most unique thing when it comes to condition is likely the packer stamps that are often found on the backs. These were likely quality control stamps of a sort that identified the packer (with a number – i.e. Packer No. 201) that put them into the cigarette packs.

While technically a mark on the card, these stamps are treated differently by collectors. Many do not take them account when considering the damage on the card while others do. The grading even seems to be a little inconsistent on them as well. I have seen high-grade cards with the packer stamps on them and, technically that really shouldn’t be the case since all cards are not found with the stamps.

PSA’s MK designation seems appropriate here but most of the PSA-graded examples I have seen do not have it.

T51 Murad Checklist

Unlike the B33 College Pennants set which has numerous sports for each college (and also believed to be produced by Murad), each school in this set has a certain sport. Below is the complete master checklist of the set with the cards depicting the four major sports highlighted.
  1. Amherstmurad-colgate-football
  2. Brown
  3. CCNY
  4. California
  5. Columbia
  6. Cornell
  7. Dartmouth
  8. Denver
  9. Fordham (Baseball)
  10. Harvard (Football)
  11. Illinois
  12. Kansas
  13. Michigan (Football)
  14. Missouri
  15. New York University
  16. Penn002-copy-3
  17. Princeton
  18. Rochester (Hockey)
  19. Penn State (Baseball)
  20. Swarthmore
  21. Syracuse
  22. Texas
  23. Washington and Jefferson
  24. Williams College (Basketball)
  25. Yale
  26. Adelphia
  27. Alfred University
  28. Bowdoin College
  29. Bucknell
  30. Cincinnati
  31. Central Kentucky
  32. Dickinson
  33. Indiana002-copy-4
  34. Minnesota
  35. Northwestern (Basketball)
  36. Brooklyn
  37. Rutgers
  38. Kentucky (Baseball)
  39. North Dakota (Football)
  40. St. Lawrence
  41. Tennessee
  42. Trinity College
  43. Tufts College (Football)
  44. Colorado
  45. Chicago
  46. Vanderbilt
  47. Vermont
  48. West Virginia
  49. Washington & Lee
  50. Wisconsin
  51. Armour Institute
  52. Berea
  53. Baker
  54. Colgate (Football)
  55. Drake
  56. George Washington
  57. Georgetown
  58. Grove City
  59. Johns Hopkins
  60. Holy Cross
  61. Iowa
  62. Juniata
  63. Lehigh
  64. Lawrence
  65. Mount Union
  66. Purdue
  67. Pratt
  68. Rensselaer Tech
  69. Massachusetts
  70. Oklahoma
  71. Chattanooga
  72. South Carolina
  73. Worcester Tech
  74. Wesleyan
  75. Whitman
  76. Adrian College
  77. Allegheny College
  78. Boston College
  79. Carthage College
  80. Canisius
  81. Clark
  82. Denison
  83. Illinois
  84. Knox College
  85. Millsaps College
  86. Marquette
  87. Michigan Agricultural College
  88. North Western College
  89. U.S. Navy
  90. Notre Dame
  91. Occidental College
  92. Ohio State (Baseball)
  93. Ohio
  94. Ohio Wesleyan
  95. Penn College
  96. Leland
  97. Clarkson
  98. Virginia
  99. Western Reserve
  100. U.S. Military Academy
  101. Amity College
  102. Buchtel College (Football)
  103. Case
  104. Coe College
  105. Davidson
  106. Furman
  107. Greer College
  108. Hamilton
  109. Haverford College (Baseball)
  110. Hampton
  111. Hastings
  112. Heidelberg University
  113. Hendrix
  114. Huron
  115. Kenyon
  116. Lenox
  117. Lombard
  118. LSU
  119. Loyola
  120. Luther College (Basketball)
  121. Marietta
  122. McGill
  123. Montana
  124. Stephens Tech
  125. Toronto
  126. Albright
  127. Alma
  128. Antioch (Baseball)
  129. Boston
  130. Bates
  131. Bethany College (Baseball)
  132. Blackburn
  133. Catholic University of America
  134. Cedarville
  135. Central College
  136. Cotner
  137. DePauw
  138. Franklin
  139. Geneva
  140. Guilford
  141. Gustavus
  142. Hampden
  143. Hiran College
  144. Hiwassee College
  145. Hobart
  146. Kentucky Wesleyan (Baseball)
  147. Lafayette College
  148. Lebanon University
  149. St. Louis
  150. Xavier (Basketball)

Master Checklist Additions

These include the additional 75 cards mentioned above. The first 50 are 2nd edition cards and the last 25 are cards that had card numbers printed on the fronts.

  1. Amherst (2nd edition)
  2. Brown (2nd edition)
  3. CCNY (2nd edition)
  4. California (2nd edition)
  5. Columbia (2nd edition)
  6. Cornell (2nd edition)
  7. Dartmouth (2nd edition)
  8. Denver (2nd edition)
  9. Fordham (2nd edition) (Baseball)
  10. Harvard (2nd edition) (Football)
  11. Illinois (2nd edition)
  12. Kansas (2nd edition)
  13. Michigan (2nd edition) (Football)
  14. Missouri (2nd edition)
  15. New York University (2nd edition)
  16. Penn (2nd edition)
  17. Princeton (2nd edition)
  18. Rochester (2nd edition) (Hockey)
  19. Penn State (2nd edition) (Baseball)
  20. Swarthmore (2nd edition)
  21. Syracuse (2nd edition)
  22. Texas (2nd edition)
  23. Washington and Jefferson (2nd edition)
  24. Williams College (2nd edition) (Basketball)
  25. Yale (2nd edition)
  26. Adelphia (2nd edition)
  27. Alfred University (2nd edition)
  28. Bowdoin College (2nd edition)
  29. Bucknell (2nd edition)
  30. Cincinnati (2nd edition)
  31. Central Kentucky (2nd edition)
  32. Dickinson (2nd edition)
  33. Indiana (2nd edition)
  34. Minnesota (2nd edition)
  35. Northwestern (2nd edition) (Basketball)
  36. Brooklyn (2nd edition)
  37. Rutgers (2nd edition)
  38. Kentucky (2nd edition) (Baseball)
  39. North Dakota (2nd edition) (Football)
  40. St. Lawrence (2nd edition)
  41. Tennessee (2nd edition)
  42. Trinity College (2nd edition)
  43. Tufts College (2nd edition) (Football)
  44. Colorado (2nd edition)
  45. Chicago (2nd edition)
  46. Vanderbilt (2nd edition)
  47. Vermont (2nd edition)
  48. West Virginia (2nd edition)
  49. Washington & Lee (2nd edition)
  50. Wisconsin (2nd edition)
  51. Harvard (with card number 1 on front)
  52. Washington & Jefferson (with card number 2 on front)
  53. Fordham (with card number 3 on front)
  54. Cornell (with card number 4 on front)
  55. Kansas (with card number 5 on front)
  56. Denver (with card number 6 on front)
  57. Yale (with card number 7 on front)
  58. Texas (with card number 8 on front)
  59. Penn State (with card number 9 on front)
  60. Rochester (with card number 10 on front)
  61. Brown (with card number 11 on front)
  62. Princeton (with card number 12 on front)
  63. CCNY (with card number 13 on front)
  64. Williams (with card number 14 on front)
  65. Michigan (with card number 15 on front)
  66. NYU (with card number 16 on front)
  67. Swarthmore (with card number 17 on front)
  68. Penn (with card number 18 on front)
  69. Missouri (with card number 19 on front)
  70. California (with card number 20 on front)
  71. Illinois (with card number 21 on front)
  72. Columbia (with card number 22 on front)
  73. Amherst (with card number 23 on front)
  74. Dartmouth (with card number 24 on front)
  75. Syracuse (with card number 25 on front)

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

Leave a Reply