Thursday, September 10, 2009
1955 Post Sugar Crisp Cloth Baseball Patch Stickers
Since my last post went back to 1958 as we looked at the original 1958 Topps felt emblem set that inspired the 2007 Topps Heritage cloth patch set, I thought I'd go even further back to take a look at what may well be the very earliest team logo set, at least in terms of a set that was marketed to kids. Just take a look at this great ad from 1955: We've got Ted Williams telling kids they can get these major league patches free in specially marked boxes of Sugar Crisp cereal. Lets zoom in a little closer to see those patches: Here is the one picture I've seen of these: The ad above mentions that they are available in boxes of Sugar Crisp. I couldn't find any pictures of boxes with that offer, but I did find pictures of a box that offered the entire set for $.25 and 2 box tops (again with Ted Williams as the spokesman): You can see the complete set of logos on the side of the box. It appears the mail in offer ended December 31, 1955. The front of the box mentions the special mail-in offer, but doesn't indicate that there are any patches in the box. In the ad it mentions the patches could be found in "Giant" Sugar Crisp boxes, so perhaps the regular size boxes just had the mail in offer. You may notice that there are 15 teams available, but there were 16 teams at the time. The Kansas City A's are not included. I'm guessing that is due to the fact that the Athletics moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City in 1955, so either Post wasn't sure what logo to use, or perhaps they weren't able to negotiate for the rights to use the logo as the team was in the process of relocating. Since this was well before the days of MLB Properties, it could be that each team would have had to have been negotiated with individually to license their logo, and with the team in transition there was no opportunity to work out a licensing deal. As I mentioned, I believe this set may be the earliest team logo sticker set ever produced. I have not come across anything that appears to have been done on a national level that included all teams that would have been issued earlier than this set. UPDATE April 2010: Thanks to Randy, we've got some additional pictures to show, including a great close up shot of the Cardinals patch: as well as the mailing envelope which is great as it features all the logos / patches on the back: UPDATE May 2010: Thanks to Dave from The Topps Archives, we have a picture of an uncut sheet, which features the Kansas City A's logo which was never released: If you look closely beside the A's logo, you see it marked with an X. Perhaps this was a proof sheet that was used to finalize the design. Also in the auction was a full set of the patches (without an A's patch): The auction showed the back of the uncut sheet which shows that the set was originally intended to be 16 teams: At some point between the creation of this sheet and the release of the promotion, the decision was made to take out the A's and proceed with only 15 teams. Also included in the auction was a box as well as a different ad from the ones I'd previously come across: And finally, the auction included some of the artwork that was used for designing the patches: Thanks to Dave for passing along the information on the auction. Its great to see the full set of patches, as well as the full sheet showing a patch that was never issued.