Obscure Card of the Month: 1901-02 Ogden’s Tabs General Interest Hockey Card
The Obscure Card of the Month is a rare ice hockey card in the Ogden’s Tabs General Interest Set
If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you might know that I’m a fan of the Ogden’s Tabs General Interest set. In fact, with more than half of the massive 1,560-card set, I really can’t get enough of them. The set is believed to have been issued in 1901 and 1902, though production could have certainly begun slightly earlier or continued slightly later. I’ve seen conflicting dates on these cards over and over.
That might sound like I’m on a good path towards completing it but the reality is that there are too many rare cards for that to be accomplished. And with rising prices on many of the soccer cards found in it, that is enough to convince me that it isn’t a set I’m likely to ever finish. Still, I pick up new ones when I can and am a big fan of the series.
Some of the cards in, say, Series A, B, D, and E are not terribly hard to find. I wouldn’t call them common but you can find them on eBay and the like. You can even find those complete series’ offered on occasion. Same goes for the first 200 cards in Series C. But the high number and unnumbered cards in Series C, along with the cards in Series F, can be downright scarce. And one card that I had a hard time getting my hands on was a rare ice hockey card in Series C.
There’s been a lot of confusion over this particular card over the years. Notably, PSA has slabbed it as a Series E card. I’m not quite sure how that happened but that is incorrect. We know that because Series E cards all state they are in Series E on the back and the hockey card does not. Further, the hockey card is No. 72 but No. 72 in Series E is a card titled, Houses of Parliament.
Instead, the card is one of the unnumbered cards in Series C. Series C in the set is kind of a mess and has caused a lot of confusion over the years. It is supposed to contain 470 cards but few collectors understand how it works. In a nutshell, the first 200 cards are numbered 1-200. The next 100 cards feature no card number but are really cards No. 201-300. Cards 301-350 are numbered. A final 120 cards make up the bulk of the series and the hockey card is actually No. 72 in that subset.
But what about this specific card? Unfortunately, there aren’t many known details. Tracking down the original image my ultimately provide more information but what we know is limited to the brief description on the back. And that description merely reads, “Ice Hockey at Plattsburg, New York.”
That is interesting given the context of the set, which was a set issued out of the UK. The bulk of the cards focus on international people, places, buildings, animals, and more. But this card is a real American image depicting early hockey in New York.
The game is played outdoors here but it isn’t known if these are real teams at all or just some sort of recreational hockey. And while there’s no guarantee these are real teams, players are certainly wearing matching uniforms, which sort of leads you to that conclusion.
Because the card features a major sport, it does come up for sale a bit more than the other rare cards in the 120-card subset of Series C. However, it is still very difficult to find and often starts around $50-$75 in decent condition.