Posted By: robert a
I've intended to write an article about this issue for quite a while, but haven't got to it yet so let me post some info that may be helpful to D304 collectors.
In order to discuss the D304 examples that are tougher than others, we have to put the backs into the discussion. Actually, the backs are the key to understanding the set. I'll explain...
The General Baking Co. was incredibly accurate (for the most part) with which players they inserted into their bread and when they did it. The General Baking back even states "Until October 1" meaning that the company only included the premium of baseball cards during the season.
As we know, the cards were inserted into the 5 different back products over the course of 4 years (1911-1914).
The Brunners and Fleishmann Backs are quite revealing. They state:
"There are 25 subjects in this set." That means quite literally that only the 25 player fronts can be found with those two backs.
In other words, Blacked Out examples are NOT POSSIBLE with Brunners or Fleishmann backs.
That being said, I have not been able to CONFIRM all 25 players with a Fleishmann back and I don't believe certain players are out there with this back.
I have confirmed the 25 players with the Brunners back and all 25 come up with about the same frequency, BUT...
...when we look at the careers of certain players like Tenny, Shafer, Young, and Bell, their careers ended before the Martens, Weber, and G.B. backs were issued. Hence, Those 4 players are never found with those backs.
Many collectors consider Tenny to be tough. This is because his career ended in 1911. I think he might've been pulled out of this product fairly early or never even put in. Similar situation with Bell, but I have seen Shafer and Young with a Fleishmann back.
On to the Martens and Weber backs. By the time these backs were included it was probably 1913 or 1914. A few players who were included in the initial 1911 products had been traded, so General Baking updated by blacking out 5 player names within of their supply of cards that were to be placed into the bread. (I guess this proves that the company had a large supply of these in their warehouse for a few years which might also explain why a fairly large amount survive today).
I HAVE NOT SEEN THE SAME PLAYER WITH BOTH A MARTENS AND WEBER BACK (EXCEPT ONE) Frank Chance seems to be a special exception throughout the 5 different backs. More on him a bit later.
Evers and Herzog traded are found with Martens backs.
Crandall traded has been found with a Weber back and Chance with both.
With the General Baking backs, all of the traded players have been included.
So crandall, evers, chase, herzog, and chance traded are included with the G.B. back. These players with the original team caption are not found with a G.B. back EXCEPT Chance. Again, this is the one deviation from the pattern throughout the 5 backs. I think it's because chance was traded more than once during the d304 years.
I also believe that the General Baking backed d304s were inserted over a few years. This would make sense considering the back represents the company better than the bakery backs which are only off-shoots of the G.B. name.
To sum up with a few things...
1.ALL 30 CARDS ARE NOT POSSIBLE WITH ANY OF THE 5 BACKS.
2.NO ONE PLAYER IS POSSIBLE WITH ALL 5 BACKS.
3.WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL FIVE BACKS, BELL, TENNY, SHAFER, AND YOUNG ARE SHORT PRINTED.
4."TRADED" CARDS ARE HARDER TO FIND THAN NON-TRADED CARDS simply because THEY'RE NOT POSSIBLE WITH ALL 5 BACKS.
5.THE TOUGHEST CARDS (LEAST PRINTED)IN THE SET ARE CRANDALL TRADED AND HERZOG TRADED.
I hope some of this information helps collectors. It is based upon the d304 holdings of the collectors that are board members here.
If anyone has anything to add or that goes against any of the theories presented, please let me know. If you have d304s and feel comfortable emailing me your list for my research, that would be great too.