Friday, May 29, 2009

1946-1947 Propaganas Montiel #5, Tommy Burns

Late last night--when people get real work done--Poor Old Baseball Cards reached into Cuba's past and pulled out the vintage tobacco set 1946-47 Propagandas Montiel. I couldn't help but follow suit, given the issue's unique look.

As the P.O.B.C. blog entry mentions, this multi-sport tobacco set leans heavily, but not exclusively, on baseball. Number 5, in fact, featured early 20th century pugilist Tommy Burns. Now a member of boxing's International Hall of Fame, this youthful pose shows off the standard fighter physique for his day.

Card front

Besides holding the crown for some time, Tommy's known for accepting a title challenge from Jack Johnson, who beat Burns in Sydney, Australia to become the first African-American heavyweight champ.

As with most Latin American sets, Propagandas Montiel also produced an album to hold the paper-thin cards. You'd mount them to a page like stamps, which usually meant a messed-up back when removed. Fortunately, the #5 that turned up at a show last year only showed corner damage.

Card back

The special albums and paper stock made this more like a North American stamp set. Topps did several of those, but rarely put this much editorial effort into it. I like the Propagandas' design and its checklist of 180 cards includes a number of luminaries. See the Century Old Cards site for front-and-back scans of #73, Carl Hubbell, and some additional set details.

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