Fishing for original Allen & Ginter

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have finally obtained a trading card that is more than a century old. True, I own baseball cards that are now 100 years old. But in recent days, I have had an itch for an original 1880s Allen & Ginter card that I had to scratch. Problem: Damn near any baseball guy from the 1887 set will cost a pretty penny.

So I created my own solution: Buy an 1889 Allen & Ginter “50 Fish from American Waters.”

The card found me more than me finding it. I hit my card shop before work Tuesday in search of additional Helmar packs like the ones I wrote about yesterday. What I ended up finding — in addition to two more packs — was this 111-year-old trading card.

Granted fish are not baseball players, and the market for these cards is relatively scarce. Hell, I bet lots of people didn’t even know they existed. But I like this card … and the $3 price tag certain helped rush me to the register.

Now you probably don’t give a crap about some card showing a fish. It didn’t face King Kelly. But the card really is something to marvel at. The image shown here is more than just another picture of a fish. It’s actually a lithograph, and when you look at it under the right light, you can see there is a metallic finish to the once-bright colors.

And while the front is colorful, it is the dull, monotone back that really catches my attention. I love the font used for the Allen & Ginter logo — very Greek-esque — and I like the catch phrase “You will catch one in each box of ten cigarettes.”

I had a few choices for century-old cardboard (Non Allen & Ginter, mostly Old Mill and other tobacco brands) at prices less than $10. I could have bought cards featuring birds or actresses from the 19th century, but I actually like fish — fishing is actually one of my hobbies. And now that I’ve acquired this Pampano card, I find myself in a position where I will be fishing for more species from this wonderful set. Among the highest on my want list are probably the Sturgeon and the Striped Bass.

5 Responses to “Fishing for original Allen & Ginter”

  1. $3.00 is great for any A&G card. Congrats!

  2. If I find one of these, I will send it to you. And the note will read, “I got you a delicious bass.”

    -Andy

  3. very nice find. You seem to have a pretty cool little shop!

  4. You better not let me know where that card shop is or I will clean them out!

    This is a great looking set and the backs are as neat as the front.

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