Remember these? The Famous Athletes series marked the beginning. Inserted into colorful bags of potato chips and caramel corn, the first series of seventy-four cards appeared on Midwestern grocery shelves in 2005. Three cards came in a silver foil wrapping printed with an image of Frank Baker. Subjects included boxers, Negro and Japanese baseball players along with the barnstorming Benton Harbor House of David squad-very unusual for the time. A scratch-off back enabled consumers to win prizes. Also notable is the fact that the artwork for every card had been hand painted; it took two years to paint the series and was the largest hand painted series done for the hobby in several decades.
Further series were added over the coming years but until now a checklist has been unavailable. We’ve finally gotten around to it and you can see the checklist with photos of each of the cards at our website here. You’ll simply need to sign into your free account. It’s easy to keep track of which cards that you own and you can buy, sell or trade for others on the Helmar Marketplace. Visit us often! Charles
I don’t see these very often as complete sets. This one is a Buy-It-Now.
Back in 2005 I published the Famous Athletes Series. These cards were inserted into bags of potato chips. For some reason I originally identified the Jimmy McAleer card as “Hugh McAleer”, probably because I knew someone with a similar name. Personally, I didn’t think that it was all that big of a deal. After all, how many people really remember Jimmy McAlleer? I was wrong. I received quite a few letters and emails informing me that I was incorrect. What I really remember is that there were two or three emails that stated quite plainly that I was a complete idiot. Worse, I was not only an idiot but quite likely evil. So much for a gentlemanly hobby. I bid my time for three years before “correcting” the problem in Series 3. This time there were no complaints.
The best thing about correcting the error was that it made me seriously start to consider making cards that looked like they had been through the wringer…all beat up and yet, somehow, more genuine, more loved.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about my quest (unfulfilled) for a signed Famous Athletes card of Darnell (Hard) Knox. It made me think about some of the other cards that I’ve tried to get signed in that series. I was successful getting a Lloyd Dalager back in 2007. Lloyd, you may know, is the last living player for the old House of David teams. He was 94 when he signed for me and it was one of the best baseball related experiences that I’ve ever had. I had been invited to attend a vintage ballgame at the compound, which is on the other side of the state. It was well worth the trip. The day was beautiful and the grass was green. I really enjoy watching vintage style games and this one was a humdinger. For several innings I sat on the old wooden bench next to Mr. Dalager. He was really a gentleman and was kind enough to talk about the old days with me. He did sign a couple cards and I am picturing one below. Does anyone else have one of these signed? I know that he didn’t sign through the mail.