Skip the Blaster: 1929 Churchman Sports and Games in Many Lands Football Card

Blaster boxes are those delectable boxes of modern cards that collectors like to target at retailers. Usually $10, $20, or $30, collectors love these sorts of fixed-price buys when in the mood for a cheap rip. I’ve got nothing against modern cards but, well, there are better ways to spend your money if you’re into vintage stuff. What I want to do is point out some great pre-war buys in these articles that can be purchased for the price of a blaster box.

1929 Churchman Sports and Games in Many Lands Football Card

Since I started the Skip the Blaster series, I think the only sport I’ve covered was baseball. And while baseball will be the focal point of these, I do want to drop in with some other sports once in a while.

American football is one of those sports that you don’t see much of in the pre-war era. There are some football-exclusive sets, headlined by the 1894 Mayo Cut Plug set and the 1935 National Chicle set. There are others. However, the appearance of most football cards are limited to some cards scattered here and there in multi-sport issues.

One great card is found in the 1929 Churchman Sports and Games in Many Lands set. It’s one of those international sets that featured different sports played around the world and is one of the cards for the United States — American Football.

I like this card for a few reasons. Beyond the fact that it’s a great horizontal card, it features American football and, as I’ve said, there simply aren’t a ton of those cards around, other than the many generic postcards that are out there. Many cards look like football cards but are actually depictions of early international rugby instead. Second, it’s also a tobacco card and there are few of those. And while this card is from 1929, another great thing is that the image is actually from more than a decade before that. As I covered here, the picture was actually first seen in a rarer tobacco set from 1915-16.

So who are the teams featured? Well, they are real teams as the picture was taken from a real one used in that earlier Obsequio de Susini card. However, I haven’t seen any mention of the teams or players anywhere else. My guess is that these are two collegiate teams, but which ones are unknown. Despite that uncertainty, the card is a bit more attractive because it almost certainly features real teams and real players.

Not too long ago, this was a card that you could get for around $5-$10. But like most, it’s gone up in the past year or so. Prices on it do fluctuate, but it generally starts around $15-$25 these days. One note is that the Sports and Games in Many Lands set was also reprinted for Edwards, Ringer, Bigg and also British American Tobacco in the 1930s. Those cards are significantly tougher than the Churchman set but do not usually sell for much more.

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