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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1914 B18 Blankets

#14A Ty Cobb (white infield)
***The information in this article was used to write our ebook, Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Card Sets.  To purchase the ebook, please click here.***

 The following article was written by Dean Hanley and was published in the December 8, 2010 issue of Sports Collectors Digest..


We just bought a very nice collection of about 90 B18 Blankets. The 1914 B18 Blankets are some of the most unique baseball collectibles made in the Pre-War Era. They are made out of felt and were originally issued folded in with tobacco products. Because they are cloth instead of paper or cardboard, they have an especially long life and many of them look as if they were made last week.

The entire set includes 91 cards grouped together by teams and then organized alphabetically. The blankets were issued by several different manufacturers, most notably the Egyptienne tobacco company, and feature no manufacturing marks.

#14B Ty Cobb (brown infield)

Each blanket has a player framed by a baseball diamond with a ball, bats, mitt, and catcher’s mask on the bases. The player is surrounded by a pennant featuring the name of the city and the league. There are a number of star players and Hall-of-Famers included in this set. Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and Casey Stengel are all represented. Ty Cobb’s red infield variation is the most expensive card in the entire set.

Many of these cards feature different variations. The basepaths, bases, and infields can have different color combinations. For many cards, the red infield variation is the most valuable.

#41 Walter Johnson
One interesting aspect of these blankets is the alternative use in quilts and blankets. The blankets could be sewn together on a decorative quilt. Even today, these quilts still exist in good condition and often feature other tobacco quilt squares containing other themes. These items are now online and ready to buy.