1951-1985 St. Louis Cardinals Team-Issued Postcard Collection (1,282) - 100 Signed

Sold For: $3,525

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1070

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Extraordinary collection of 1,282 St. Louis Cardinals team-issued picture postcards spanning the years 1951 through 1985. This comprehensive collection was assembled by an old-time advanced collector over a period of decades. We may never see a finer collection of St. Louis team-issued postcards. In the early 1950s, the St. Louis Cardinals began annually issuing postcards featuring individual photos of their players. These postcards were produced by the team to help players respond to fan requests for autographs. They have been extremely popular with collectors for many years. Since the earliest days of the organized hobby they have been treated very much as a long-running regional issue unto itself, widely collected and appreciated by many types of collectors (including postcard, St. Louis Cardinals, and autograph collectors). The earliest years of issue, not surprisingly, are particularly rare. This is the most advanced collection of St. Louis Cardinals team-issued postcards we have ever seen! Included are literally hundreds of the rarer 1950s cards. Though the cards were produced by the team to help players respond to fan mail, only a small percentage were actually signed. Sometimes the player would actually sign the front of the card, but most often the cards were sent out by the team with a stamped facsimile signature of the respective player. Beginning in 1954 the St. Louis Cardinals cards were produced with the player's stamped facsimile signature as part of the design. The St. Louis postcard sets from the early to mid 1950s (often referred to as the "Dear Friend..." sets because of their design) have always been especially popular and sought after. It is important to note that these postcards were available only one at a time, in response to written request. Since few young fans had the patience to write to so many players, it is very rare to find a collection as substantial as the one offered here. This collection is further distinguished by the fact that approximately 100 cards feature an actual signature, either in lieu of (pertaining to the early 1950s cards), or in addition to (pertaining to the post-1953 cards), a facsimile signature. Included among the signers, many of whom are represented more than once, are Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Bob Gibson, Ken Boyer, Joe Garagiola, Sal Maglie, Eddie Dyer, Terry Moore, Harry Walker, Eddie Stanky, Rip Repulski, Wally Moon, Harvey Haddix, and Bill Virdon. This is an extremely comprehensive collection, with approximately thirty to thirty-four different cards from each year beginning with 1954. A total of 124 cards date from 1951 through 1953, 114 of which are the "Dear Friend" style (fifty-one are non-glossy, the other sixty-three are glossy). The majority of the earlier cards (1950s and 1960s) have been addressed and mailed. A small number also display mounting remnants and/or adhesive residue on the reverse. Condition varies slightly by age, with the 1950s cards averaging Vg-Ex, and the 1960s cards averaging Ex. Approximately twenty percent of the 1970s cards exhibit minor toning; otherwise the 1970s and 1980s cards range from Ex-Mt to Nr-Mt. Total: 1,282 postcards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500++. SOLD FOR $3,525

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