1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards

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More under the radar than other card releases that year, 1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball is another early entry in the gum card market. Although it does not include Babe Ruth, several top Hall of Fame names, like Rogers Hornsby, Jimmie Foxx and Dizzy Dean, combine within a 60-card set to offer an appealing, but more obscure, set chase.

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball cards were originally issued in packages of one-cent Tattoo Chewing Gum, a product from Orbit Gum Co. The Chicago-based gum company elected not to include any advertising or branding on the actual cards, leading to some confusion over the years from less-knowledgeable collectors. The cards are officially designated R305.

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards 1

Nearly forming a square, the 2" by 2-1/4" cards are noticeably smaller than other gum cards from that era. Similar to other designs, the 1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball cards feature a black-and-white player photo along with a colorful background. However, the largely red, yellow and green color scheme makes the card fairly easy to distinguish and the players stand out a little more due to the added flesh tones applied to the face and hands. Lastly, the player's name is noted at the top and a thick, white border encloses the design.

The card backs are quite simple, with nothing more than a plain design that bookends the player's name, position, team, birthday, height and weight. As noted above, there is nothing printed on the cards to directly tie 1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball to any specific brand or year. As seen below with the card back image where you can clearly see the front design, the stock is very thin, making the cards particularly vulnerable to wear or damage.

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards 2 1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards 3

Given that Orbit Gum Company was based in Chicago, it is not too surprising that the Chicago Cubs fill a large percentage of the 1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball checklist. 15 of the 60 cards cover the Cubs, while no other team has more than six subjects. Although several teams only have one or two representatives, it is more surprising that four teams were left completely off the checklist, including the New York Yankees, Washington Senators, New York Giants and Detroit Tigers.

While it does suffer slightly from the bigger omissions in the checklist, 1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball is buoyed by 17 Hall of Fame options, including Rogers Hornsby, Jimmie Foxx, Dizzy Dean, Mickey Cochrane and Lefty Grove. Hornsby is particularly notable because the card is one of several reported short prints, but the only Hall of Fame inductee. However, not all collectors feel the short prints are any more difficult to find.

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Key Cards

Key 1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards

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Rogers Hornsby

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards 4

Dizzy Dean

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards 5

Jimmie Foxx

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Mickey Cochrane

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards 7

Robert "Lefty" Grove

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Set Checklist

1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Set Checklist

Cards are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Short prints (SP) are noted below.
1933 Tattoo Orbit Baseball Cards 9

Dale Alexander
Paul Ivy Andrews SP
Earl Averill
Richard Bartell
Walter Berger
George F. Blaeholder SP
Irving J. Burns
Guy T. Bush
Bruce D. Campbell
William Cissell
Lefty Clark
Mickey Cochrane
Phil Collins
Hazen Kiki Cuyler
Dizzy Dean
Jimmy Dykes
George L. Earnshaw
Woody English
Lewis A. Fonseca
Jimmy Foxx
Burleigh A. Grimes
Charles John Grimm
Robert M. Grove
Frank Grube
George W. Haas
Irving D. Hadley SP
Chick Hafey
Jesse Joseph Haines
William Hallahan
Melvin Harder
Gabby Hartnett
Babe Herman
William Herman
Rogers Hornsby SP
Roy C. Johnson
J. Smead Jolley
William Jurges
William Kamm
Mark Koenig
James J. Levey
Ernie Lombardi
Red Lucas
Ted Lyons
Connie Mack
Pat Malone
Pepper Martin
Marty McManus
Frank J. O'Doul
Richard Porter
Carl N. Reynolds
Charles Henry Root
Robert Seeds
Al H. Simmons
Jackson Riggs Stephenson
Bud Tinning
Joe Vosmik
Rube Walberg
Paul Waner
Lonnie Warneke
Arthur C. Whitney

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Trey Treutel  |  E-Mail Author
Trey is a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options.

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