Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Card of Week: 2005 Helmar's Turkey Stearnes

2005 Helmar's

Thomas "Turkey" Stearnes was outfielder in the Negro Leagues from 1920-40, most notably with the Detroit Stars.  He got his nickname from his running style, but it did not hurt him in becoming one of the best hitters in Negro League history.   He lead the league in home runs for seven seasons while still maintaining high batting average.  Stearnes was not just great hitter, he was a very good in the field and known to have a solid throwing arm.  He participated in five Negro League All Star games and was finally recognized by being inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Helmar Brewing Company released a regional card set in the summer of 2005.  They were packaged in three card packs and placed in their line of potato chips in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  The set included former players of MLB, Negro Leagues, Japanese and the barnstorming House of David team along with some pro boxers.
A few other notes about the tobacco styled trading cards is that they are very thick and prone to chipping.  So finding them in mint condition is quite difficult.  It was also difficult completing the set from the individual packs.  They were terribly collated as getting duplicates often was quite common.  2005 was the only year Helmar's released cards via packs.  The subsequent three years, they were released in only in set form.  Here is more information about the 2005 set and the checklist for it.

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