1926-35 Psychic Baseball Cards part of Advanced Game

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Psychic Baseball Game Cards
Year 1926-35
Size 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Images Color
Type Game Cards
Number in Set
27

1926-35 Psychic Baseball Game Overview

001

The Psychic Baseball Game was a game using playing cards. The cards depict various baseball images of runners trying to reach base – some successfully and others unsuccessfully. A total of 27 cards are in the set.

As few as two people could play the game and it could accommodate up to 18 players. A complete game with the cards, rules, and score pads could be purchased for initially $.75 (first printing) and then later (second printing) $1.00.

The game was developed by the Psychic Base Ball Corporation (389 Fifth Avenue in New York City) and was invented by M.C. Meyer. Sets were printed in more than one year. The first set was printed in either 1926 or 1927 with a second shortly after the first printing and a third in 1935. The first game was in a simple cardboard box. The second was in a slightly upgraded box with a playing field, which was the actual game surface. The third and final printing included a full, 10″ x 16″ board game.

Cards all had the same back design printed in green ink. The box from the second printing that contained the playing field included a generic baseball scene as well as quotes from current players.

“Psychic Baseball isn’t an imitation of my profession. It is baseball nothing else. It’s given me a taste of the real thing.” – Jess Petty (former pitcher)

“Psychic Baseball is a corking good game and more. I defy anybody who plays this game not to learn something about big league pitching. It beats anything I’ve seen off the regulation diamond.” – Al Mamaux (former pitcher/manager)

Special Contests

The game seemed popular. Several tournaments were held and one reported that none other than Lou Gehrig was in attendance.

In addition, the company encouraged players to set up their own series of games through a separate flyer that was issued with the games (shown here). Any group could create a team and find another team to play a seven-game series. The team winning the series could then mail a description of the final game to the sports editor of their local newspaper and to the Psychic Base Ball Corporation. If they included the names and addresses of the winning players, the company sent medals to the players’ local sporting goods stores where they could be claimed.

The idea, certainly, was to encourage game play while getting free publicity in the newspapers. In turn, that would hopefully sell more games. While it isn’t clear how effective that was, that another printing occurred in 1935 seems to indicate it was a popular game.

Game Play

In a two-player game, one person is essentially the fielding team and the other the team at bat. Both players would draw a card and depending on the card chosen, a pitch would be either a ball, strike, or put into play. One of the interesting aspects was that the batter would have to draw a card with the same type of pitch thrown (fastball or curve) in order to make contact.

In addition, players could try to steal bases. For a game developed nearly 100 years ago, it was fairly innovative.

Dating Confusion

The exact dates that the cards were issued is a point of debate. Some games do have a copyright date of 1926 on the box. However, at least some rule books included with those games have a 1927 copyright date. Additionally, there are the 1935 boxes.

The games appear to have been issued in 1926 and/or 1927 as well as 1935.

Psychic Baseball Checklist

A total of 27 cards are in the set as indicated below. Note that some of the cards are the same.

  1. Curve Ball (Yellow) FB
  2. Curve Ball (Yellow) SS
  3. Curve Ball (Yellow) No letters
  4. Curve Ball (Yellow) LF
  5. Curve Ball (Yellow) RF
  6. Curve Ball (Yellow) CF
  7. Curve Ball (Yellow) CF
  8. Curve Ball (Yellow) CF
  9. Out (Black Ball) TB
  10. Out (Black Ball) SB / 1
  11. Out (Black Ball) SB / 1 and 2
  12. Out (Black Ball) RF
  13. Out (Black Ball) DCF
  14. Out (Black Ball) LF
  15. Out (Black Ball) LF
  16. Out (Black Ball) RCF
  17. Fast Ball (Red) TB
  18. Fast Ball (Red) SS
  19. Fast Ball (Red) P
  20. Fast Ball (Red)
  21. Fast Ball (Red)
  22. Fast Ball (Red) LF
  23. Fast Ball (Red) RF
  24. Fast Ball (Red) RF
  25. Fast Ball (Red) LF
  26. Fast Ball (Red) RF
  27. Fast Ball (Red) LCF

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