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From 1948 through 1952, the Cleveland Indians promoted their hometown stars with the concession marketing of pencil clips in Municipal Stadium. These clips were made with celluloid appendages depicting 3/4”-diameter photo likenesses of the principals on the team. Obvious design differences characterized each season’s production of these clips, so that today’s intense collector may readily systematize the entire scope of this very remote genre. Throughout the five-season promotion there were instances of replicated images as there was certainly cohesion in the Indians’ roster, but it was punctuated with the arrival or departure of some players. Furthermore, there are instances of modified poses of the same player from one issue to another. However, it is fairly assured that there are no variations that ever appeared within a given year. This collection is complete according to all known studies and, in general terms, it comprises: 1) 1948 (identified as black) – 20 different; 2) 1949 (brown) – 20 different; 3) 1950 (white) – 19 different; 4) 1951 (identified as blue with a union label); - 12 different and 5) 1952 (blue, but without the union label) – 19 different.
The Indians through that period we contenders, and as such, this collection is awash with Hall of Famers – most all appearing in multiple issues, naturally – and to include Early Wynn, Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Al Lopez, Bob Lemon, Bill Veeck, and of course, 1949’s Satchel Paige. And not to be overlooked is the collection’s inclusion of luminaries such as Mike Garcia, Bobby Avila, Al Rosen, Mickey Vernon, and Luke Easter.
As for condition, we report that a few of the 1948 clips are lightly rusted (but on non-critical surfaces). Then, the 1948 Boudreau, ’49 Zoldak, and the 1950 Hegan, Murray, and Wynn clips are all about EX; the 1948 Joe Black is VG. Thereafter, all of these are minimally EX/MT – most are Near Mint or stronger. Embellishing the 90-piece set are 11 pencils from the period – all are used to a minor degree; four of these cite “World Champions” (obviously from 1949), and the balance simply identify “Cleveland Indians.”
And on a final note…we’re to understand that the innovative Bill Veeck masterminded this pencil-clip scheme. They were sold for a dime apiece (as were scorecards), and then, as today, fans challenged themselves to capture complete-set issues.
1948-1952 Cleveland Indians Pencil Clips Complete Set (90) With 11 Corresponding Pencils
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