Back in the 1910s and 20s, tobacco companies produced all manner of promotional cards to attract and retain customers. Most sets measured about 1.5" x 2.5" and went out one-per-pack, so frequent smokers amassed them quickly. The smaller size proved easier to collect than postcards and printing press advancements made multicolor presentation relatively inexpensive. This culminated in a card production boom that only slowed during World War I and picked up again soon after. (Countries of both sides of the Atlantic produced sets, but US issues retain much greater value overall.)
Card collecting today seems almost inseparable from commercial American sports, but not so in the early 20th century, when just about any subject could pop out of your Piedmont pack. This 1925 set from British "Turf Cigarettes" features "records" from a variety of worldwide activities. Our fifth card shows that most popular of track events, the sprint (or dash). Wooden stakes delineate lanes instead of chalk, but runner outfits differ little from what we see today: shirt, shorts, shoes, and sweat.
Card #50 from this set does feature American baseball and highlights the batting exploits of George Sisler. (Scan courtesy of CenturyOldCards.com.) Given an overseas origin, it's not surprising that the back text comes off stilted and awkward, even verging on Engrish.
"50. - BASEBALL. In America's great Ball-game, G. H. Sisler, of St. Louis (U.S.A.), put up the highest batting percentage known in the history of the American League, with his hit for 41,979. Mr. Sisler's name is to be inscribed on the $100,000 Base Ball Monument, which will be erected in Washington."
The figure "41,979" refers to Sisler's 1922 average of .420, without baseball's typical rounding to three digits and using a European-style comma instead of the American period. Did the planned D.C. "monument" eventually became Cooperstown's Hall of Fame? They certainly paid more than $100,000 for the one that stands there now.