1939 Play Ball (R334) Sample Baseball Cards
Flush with success from the recent Horrors of War set of gum cards, Warren Bowman decided that the time to issue set of baseball cards in 1939. The result was the first of three Play Ball Baseball Cards Sets. As the 1939 Play Ball Cards were a new product, the first 115 cards in the set were handed out to stores as samples of the new product.
The sample cards include a red overprint on the back reading, "FREE SAMPLE CARD, GET YOUR PICTURES OF LEADING BASEBALL PLAYERS....AT YOUR CANDY STORE". The 1939 Play Ball sample cards are much harder to find than the cards in the normal set and present a fun challenge for collectors.
Some of the key Hall-of-Famers for this issue include the: 1939 Play Ball #92 Ted Williams, #7 Bobby Doerr, #26 Joe DiMaggio, #30 Bill Dickey, #50 Charlie Gehringer, #51 Mel Ott, #53 Carl Hubbell, and #56 Hank Greenberg.
By Dean Hanley
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