Third R813 Trade Card Recently Discovered
A rare trade card set now includes three known cards
The R813 baseball trade card was identified by collecting guru Frank Keetz in his classification system for early advertising/trade cards. Keetz initially categorized the card as No. 211 in his system and no known set had ever been identified — at least not to any degree where the knowledge of it was widespread.
So, that card was generally believed to be a standalone issue. However, earlier this year, I discovered a cricket card as part of a set. The cricket card that I purchased had the same design and the same R813 print, clearly establishing it as part of the same set that the baseball card set was from.
Last week, collector Jeff Forteza reached out to me and told me of a third which he had just purchased for the sport of rowing.
The card, shown here, includes the same design and the same R813 printing. Like the others, it has a color depiction of the sport on a sheet as well as a color background illustration with scenery and items related to the sport. Specifically, the background includes a canoe and rowing oars, along with a flag. The ‘R’, as it is on the other cards, is inside of a triangle.
One interesting thing Jeff pointed out to me is that the placement of a partial upside down R813 can be seen at the bottom of his rowing card (lower right corner). That clearly shows that the cards would have been printed on a sheet opposite each other (that R813 would belong to a card printed upside down and beneath this one).
That now gives us a total of three cards in the set and while the set could certainly be completed with three, my guess is there is at least one more card in the set.
What sport could be depicted if there is a fourth? Eh, beats me. It’s hard to see much of a pattern with baseball, cricket, and rowing. But four was a common number for trade card issues and, to me, there’s a good chance that at least a fourth card is lurking around somewhere.