1939 Play Ball

The debut of the 1939 Play Ball series by Gum, Incorporated, ushered in a new era of baseball cards. The set consists of 161 cards (though card #126 was never issued), each 2-1/2” by 3-1/8” in size - larger than nearly any tobacco card of the early 20th century. Each item featured quality likenesses of the respective ballplayer printed in black-and-white. It is anchored by the early card of Joe DiMaggio and the one-and-only 1939 baseball card depiction of rookie Ted Williams, as well as numerous Hall of Famers, including Earl Averill, Leo Durocher, Bill Dickey, Hank Greenberg, Chuck Klein, Heinie Manush. As expected card #1 Jake Powell and card # 162 Whitey Moore are highly sought in high grade, due to their unenviable positions on the top and bottom of childhood stacks. Many of the cards between #2-115 are found with the player name either in all capital letters, or in both upper- and lower-case letters (those examples constituting as close to a “rarity” as the set offers). Minor differences in type styles and biographical information have also been noted. Cards #1-#115 can also be found with red text printed atop back text on backs that reads, “FREE Sample Card – Get your pictures of leading baseball players. Three picture cards packed in each package of “Play Ball America” Bubble Gum at your candy store.” The advertisement also provided the price of one cent at the bottom." The exact means of distribution of these sample cards is unknown.

SET LIST

# CARD NAME
1 Jake Powell
2 Lee Grissom
3 Red Ruffing
4 Eldon Auker
5 Luke Sewell
6 Leo Durocher
7 Bobby Doerr
8 Henry Pippen
9 Jim Tobin
10 Jimmie Deshong
11 Johnny Rizzo
12 Hersh Martin
13 Luke Hamlin
14 Jim Tabor
15 Paul Derringer
16 Johnny Peacock
17 Emerson Dickman
18 Harry Danning
19 Paul Dean
20 Joe Heving
21 Dutch Leonard
22 Bucky Walters
23 Burgess Whitehead
24 Dick Coffman
25 George Selkirk
26 Joe DiMaggio
27 Fred Ostermueller
28 Syl Johnson
29 Jack Wilson
30 Bill Dickey
31 Sammy West
32 Bob Seeds
33 Del Young
34 Frank Demaree
35 Bill Jurges
36 Frank McCormick
37 Spud Davis
38 Billy Myers
39 Rick Ferrell
40 Jim Bagby Jr
41 Lon Warneke
42 Arndt Jorgens
43 Mel Almada
44 Don Heffner
45 Pinky May
46 Morrie Arnovich
47 Buddy Lewis
48 Vernon Gomez
49 Eddie Miller
50 Charles Gehringer
51 Mel Ott
52 Tommy Henrich
53 Carl Hubbell
54 Harry Gumbert
55 Arky Vaughan
56 Hank Greenberg
57 Buddy Hassett
58 Lou Chiozza
59 Ken Chase
60 Schoolboy Rowe
61 Tony Cuccinello
62 Tom Carey
63 Heinie Mueller
64 Wally Moses
65 Harry Craft
66 Jimmy Ripple
67 Eddie Joost
68 Fred Sington
69 Elbie Fletcher
70 Fred Frankhouse
71 Monte Pearson
72 Debs Garms
73 Hal Schumacher
74 Cookie Lavagetto
75 Frenchy Bordagaray
76 Goody Rosen
77 Lew Riggs
78 Moose Solters
79 Joe Moore
80 Pete Fox
81 Babe Dahlgren
82 Charles Klein
83 Gus Suhr
84 Lamar Newsome
85 Johnny Cooney
86 Dolph Camilli
87 Milt Shoffner
88 Charles Keller
89 Lloyd Waner
90 Bob Klinger
91 Jack Knott
92 Ted Williams
93 Charley Gelbert
94 Heinie Manush
95 Whit Wyatt
96 Babe Phelps
97 Bob Johnson
98 Pinky Whitney
99 Wally Berger
100 Buddy Myer
101 Doc Cramer
102 Pep Young
103 Morris Berg
104 Tommy Bridges
105 Eric McNair
106 Dolly Stark
107 Joe Vosmik
108 Frankie Hayes
109 Myril Hoag
110 Freddie Fitzsimmons
111 Van Lingle Mungo
112 Paul Waner
113 Al Schacht
114 Cecil Travis
115 Red Kress
116 Gene Desautels
117 Wayne Ambler
118 Lynn Nelson
119 Will Hershberger
120 Rabbit Warstler
121 Bill Posedel
122 George McQuinn
123 Peaches Davis
124 Jumbo Brown
125 Cliff Melton
127 Gilbert Brack
128 Joe Bowman
129 Bill Swift
130 Bill Brubaker
131 Mort Cooper
132 Jimmy Brown
133 Lynn Myers
134 Tot Pressnell
135 Arnold Owen
136 Roy Bell
137 Pete Appleton
138 George Case
139 Vito Tamulis
140 Ray Hayworth
141 Pete Coscarart
142 Ira Hutchinson
143 Earl Averill
144 Zeke Bonura
145 Hugh Mulcahy
146 Tom Sunkel
147 George Coffman
148 Bill Trotter
149 Max West
150 Jim Walkup
151 Hugh Casey
152 Roy Weatherly
153 Paul Trout
154 Johnny Hudson
155 Jimmy Outlaw
156 Ray Berres
157 Don Padgett
158 Bud Thomas
159 Red Evans
160 Gene Moore Jr
161 Lonny Frey
162 Whitey Moore