1930s-40s Overland All American Football Roll Wrappers Set and Checklist
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||Overland All American Football Roll Wrappers
|Size||5″ x 5 1/4″
|Images||Black and White
|Number in Set
1930s-40s Overland All American Football Roll Wrappers Overview
These Overland Candy Wrappers set is a unique pre-war issue. Not cards, rather, these were wrappers the Overland Candy Company used for penny candy, as advertised on the wrapper. The wrappers are extremely scarce and only a handful are known to the entire hobby.
The set featured football stars at both the professional and collegiate level. The release’s name, the All American Football Roll, indicates that the focus was on college ball and even a wrapper for Sammy Baugh, which discusses his pro career, mentions his college team of TCU, too.
Issued by the Overland Candy Company based in Chicago, the wrappers included a player’s image and a biography. The actual size of these should be approximately 5″ x 5 1/4″. Smaller sizes are sometimes reported, however, those are trimmed versions. Like tobacco cards, I expect, collectors were more interested than the player than the company distributing them and wanted to remove that portion. Many have also subsequently been pasted into books so you will see a lot of them with back damage or residue.
Obviously, since most children did not keep the candy wrappers, the bulk of these were discarded, making them extremely rare. As a result, they can be fairly expensive on the rare occasion they are available. In 2017, a Sammy Baugh sold for nearly $4,000.
Baseball and Other Wrappers
While this is a virtually unheard of issue, Overland also produced a much more popular set of wrappers featuring baseball players. While those are also difficult to find, they were surely printed in larger quantities and are much more common than the football wrappers.
Of note is that the baseball wrappers are categorized as R301 in the American Card Catalog. I am not aware of any such catalog number for the football wrappers. It is important to note that, while the football wrappers are also listed as R301 by some sources, technically, they should not be. For one thing, they are a completely different set. And more importantly, Jefferson Burdick did not catalog them as such in his book. The American Card Catalog only lists the baseball wrappers as R301 and as the football wrappers are not mentioned, they should be cited as an uncataloged issue.
A different wrapper for their product included a special offer. That wrapper was used for a product described as ‘red hot chewing candy.’ For 40 coupons (or for ten coupons and five cents), a customer could receive an extra large transfer that would decorate a clothing item or other item, such as a pillow or handkerchief. Several options were available and one was called ‘Big Leaguer.’ While a specific player is not named, that sounds as if it would have been a baseball player. To date, I have not seen any of these transfers. However, even if one had surfaced, it might be difficult to tie it to Overland, anyway.
Overland also had wrappers called “Fortune Rolls.” These had a picture of a fortune teller on them and also were for one-cent packages of their candy. While some collectors would consider the red hot candy and the Fortune Roll wrappers to be nice complementary pieces to a collection of the baseball and football wrappers, those do not have nearly the same kind of value.
As I’ve written before, dating of the baseball set is difficult. The same can be said for this issue. And as is the case with the baseball set, I these were printed over several years. These appear to have been printed in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and that is a timeline followed for the baseball set as well.
Baugh’s wrapper, which talks about his rookie year of 1937 in the NFL, seems to suggest his was printed in 1938. DeCorrevont’s mentions his high school career and, given he graduated from there in 1937, his also could be from 1938 or possibly later.
Smith’s, however, clearly was printed after that. We know that because it mentions he was then in the U.S. Navy and that didn’t happen until after his football career ended following the 1941 season. Smith’s wrapper is likely a 1942 issue.
Overland Candy Wrapper Checklist
To date, I have seen/heard of only three known wrappers. However, given the scarcity of them, it is likely that more were probably printed.
- Sammy Baugh
- Bill DeCorrevont
- Bruce Smith