Sunday, June 3, 2012
1914 B18 Blankets
The 1914 B18 Blanket set is an interesting one for several reasons.
First, they aren't cards but are instead squares of felt. The measure about 5 1/2 inches on each side with a picture of the player surrounded by an infield and two pennants. There are 91 felts in the set, not including all the different color variations, from 10 major league teams. They can have different basepaths, bases, pennants or even infield colors.
They were packaged with packs of Egyptienne Straights Cigarettes and were folded in half twice, placed in an envelope and attached to the packs using an adhesive strip. Sometimes you will find some remnants of the adhesive strip still attached to the blankets. Packs of Egyptienne Straights were square in shape, so folding the blanket in this way made them fit with the packages.
The blankets are also often found sewn together into quilts or perhaps pillow cases as was normal for this type of give away back then. Some collectors have taken quilts apart to sell off the individual squares and you will find some of them that have the holes in the borders from being sewn together.
The most difficult ones to find, and the most expensive, are the ones with red infields. These are extremely rare and do not show up often. Only Boston and Detroit players are found with the red infields by the way. The Ty Cobb red infield version is, of course, the best blanket in the set.
I was lucky enough to find my two blankets in an antique mall outside of Denver, CO years ago. They were pinned together in the bottom shelf of a cabinet display for only $10 for the pair. I snatched them up right away. Here are my two.
Enjoy the hobby all...It's a fantastic one.