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Old 08-11-2019, 02:26 PM
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Default Fun things added to blank back cards

I have always appreciated a little extra value to be added to my cards, especially those cards that were issued with blank backs. I find them both interesting and a peek into the mindset of kids (and sometimes later adults) of the time the cards were issued. This thread will have ten posts of scans and commentary from the Zeenut series, a great blank canvas for scrawling upon, but feel free to post anything else you might have from blank back card sets (or even ones with printing that have something added to them).

To start with, here are some cards that were used for scholarly purposes, practicing number writing, adding up test scores(?...if so, an 'A' student), and a cheat sheet of conversions.

Brian
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:27 PM
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Here are a couple that have transfers on them, including one of James Cagney, that Buck Barker needed to work around while writing down research on the player on front.
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Last edited by brianp-beme; 08-11-2019 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:27 PM
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Here are some that represent the world of artistic endeavor and graphic design. Please stop staring at the palm tree in the background of the card on the upper left, a little WW1 aviator design, make your own deck of cards, the six fingered hand of horror(!), and a little love to create a happy ending (please note that the human heart has been shot through with an arrow, which of course is considered hazardous to health and well-being).
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Last edited by brianp-beme; 08-11-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:28 PM
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Stamps added for a variety of purposes...directing a player where to sign card (card is unsigned), business addresses, receipts, theater admission, stamp your name multiple times, and a rabbit with a carrot for good measure.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:28 PM
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Here are some examples of cards utilized for informational purposes...typed (they ran this one through the typewriter in typical destroy your Zeenut fashion), yearly stats, updates on careers, line-ups, a Buck Barker of a tough to nail down player. My favorites are the blue ink stat recap of a very good player who needed all his great achievements smooshed into illegibility, and the "Good Outfielder" who was fired for drinking his favorite XXX beverage.
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Last edited by brianp-beme; 08-11-2019 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:28 PM
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Which leads us to cards extolling the virtues of the ballplayer, especially one kid who perhaps was considering a future in sports writing, with descriptive phrases such as "a darn fast man", "a good pitcher an(d) sticker and hitter", and a "flossy twirler", predictions about an up and comer, and even a fair admission that he just doesn't remember Jacobs very well. His competitor only could produce "make things look too easy". Better step it up a notch if you want that daily column, kid.
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Last edited by brianp-beme; 08-11-2019 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:28 PM
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On the flip side are the negative criticism and flat out insults. I know I would feel pretty low if I were identified as a mediocre pitcher, or a punk relief pitcher, or as a "Man(ager) Pitcher of Seattle, not much of either", or called out as a big fool (could have been either for player or new owner of the card). My favorite insult of all time is the one with "Meusel is nothing but an old flat lunch". And nothing could be worse than being called an old flat lunch.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:29 PM
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The world is not such a bad place, as witnessed on the back of these Zeenuts. Cole was a lucky recipient of the top left card, as evidenced by "Dear Cole, here are your pictur(e)s". "This Zee-nut was got by Harold Hague and I am trying to see how far it will go" is perhaps a pay-it-forward scheme, "To be given away to anybody who wants it" sounds pretty generous, and Bob Brabo utilized his last name to coin a new word..."Bob Brabo...TRAB you for any other pictore".
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:29 PM
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Which leads to Zeenut 'Shooting', which evidently was a contest like pitching pennies to get closest to the wall. Besides tearing off corners, rolling up the card, waxing it etc. to make a card more likely a winner, it didn't hurt to try to influence the outcome with a few choice words, such as "Good Luck", and perhaps even add a little bonus "kiss me' to keep the other boys cards away, if they wanted to avoid cooties. Evidently Wesley "Shooter" Brown was a champion Zeenut Shooter, but he failed to record his victories for posterity. And I am assuming Eddie Miller was also proclaiming his Shooting skills with the misspelled "I am danger's (dangerous?)"
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Last edited by brianp-beme; 08-11-2019 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:29 PM
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The final installment...the good/bad luck cards. A few more examples of Good Luck, plus my favorite Good Luck and Bad Luck cards...."I wish you good luck and will try and give you back" with the funny little tongue sticking out drawing, "Luck to me but no bute ells (nobody else), and "Bad luck don't use this one for a tore(?). As it will bounce back. And you will lose."

Brian
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:25 PM
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Does anyone recognize whose handiwork is on the back of this W575-1 card of Sam Rice?
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File Type: jpg W575-1 E. C. Rice - front.jpg (47.5 KB, 373 views)
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:40 PM
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One Doc Crandall w/ stats. The other looks like it says "Pot is Crandall" or "Pot 15 Crandall" Don't know.
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File Type: jpg zeenutscrandallb326.jpg (75.7 KB, 327 views)
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:59 PM
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The writing on the back of the 1921 card is likely intended to mean:

P (for pitcher) Otis Crandall (also known as "Doc" Crandall).

https://www.baseball-reference.com/r...d=cranda002jam
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:30 PM
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Ah, thanks, Val. That's it. I read some more on Crandall just now, that Damon Runyon gave him the nickname "Doc", "the physician of the pitching emergency."
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:48 AM
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I haven't seen the writing on Val's card before, but I have seen the writing seen on the Crandall card. If I remember M. MaCrae's info correctly, he of the incredible PCL and card knowledge, these came from a collector with a substantial Zeenut collection who wrote on these as a kid in this distinctive fashion, and showed up in the Bay Area collecting scene in the 70-80's(?) There are a lot of them out there, I have a few.

Brian
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:08 AM
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The writing on the back of the Crandall card is from Norm McTeer's collection. He was an advanced West Coast collector from the 30's-70's. His collection of several thousand (Bay Area released) cards was broken down in the mid 70's and virtually every intermediate to advanced PCL collection will contain examples from his collection... By the way Brian, great collection of 'personalized' backs
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:32 PM
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I knew Mark would be able to reach back into the Rolodex of his mind and come up with more details of the handwriting seen on the Crandall card.

And of course I also have to thank Mark for a good chunk of the cards seen in my scans. In many cases when I was at a show I had multiple of the same card to choose from his glorious stacks, and I chose the ones I posted.

Brian
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianp-beme View Post
On the flip side are the negative criticism and flat out insults. I know I would feel pretty low if I were identified as a mediocre pitcher, or a punk relief pitcher, or as a "Man(ager) Pitcher of Seattle, not much of either", or called out as a big fool (could have been either for player or new owner of the card). My favorite insult of all time is the one with "Meusel is nothing but an old flat lunch". And nothing could be worse than being called an old flat lunch.
I think it's "old flat lard"...which doesn't make sense either but is pretty close to "old fat lard". Notice how his earlier "a" looks a lot like a "u". Just a thought...

and awesome thread!
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:00 PM
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A vary rare "Pirate Back" Exhibit card:



Others:

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Old 08-12-2019, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HRBAKER View Post
A vary rare "Pirate Back" Exhibit card:

Cool...dat thar pirate even 'ave tattoos!

Brian
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2oya311 View Post
I think it's "old flat lard"...which doesn't make sense either but is pretty close to "old fat lard". Notice how his earlier "a" looks a lot like a "u". Just a thought...

and awesome thread!
Old fat lard...still lacking all components that would make this comment a compliment. I think the last letter of lunch/lard looks like the 'h' in our little scribbler made in his 'nothing'. But either way still quite humorous.

Brian
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HRBAKER View Post

Others:

Jeff, who is on the front of your Becker/Prize back W516? I love those backs myself.

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Old 08-12-2019, 03:13 PM
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Andy,
I believe that it is Babe Adams.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:28 AM
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Not sure about a fun thing but ole Alfred really liked to sign some PCL cards backs, back in the day. These boomeranged from my first collection too.
I always liked the fact they are used in Lew's Encyclopedia too (which is where they were originally acquired).

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Old 08-13-2019, 11:39 AM
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:54 PM
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I still like this Ted Williams card.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:18 PM
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Love this thread idea. Below are three Japanese cards from the late 1940s. L to R, Henry "Bozo" Wakabiyashi, Tetsuharu Kawakami, and Hiroshi Oshita. The text on the back is paired with numbers 1-12, and says things like "hit to left field", "hit to right field", "ground out to shortstop", things like that. What it is is that some kid came up with a dice game, and put it on the back of his baseball cards.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:55 PM
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I think my favorite so far is Eddie Miller's, " I am dangers."
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:58 AM
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:20 PM
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Someone didn't care much for this HOFer:
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File Type: jpg W575-2 Rixey 1922 - front.jpg (77.0 KB, 41 views)
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:43 AM
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Brian, I have nothing to add, but great thread - very fun read. Thanks for staring it.
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