1887 N28 Allen & Ginter Baseball CardsBrand: Allen & Ginter
The Allen & Ginter name has been brought back to the memory of modern collectors thanks to Topps' retro-styled issues beginning in 2006, but vintage collectors have long recognized it as one of the more important cigarette brands of the 1800s. 1887 N28 Allen & Ginter Baseball is one of the hobby's all-time classic sets.
The company used a large variety of subjects among their sets: flags, birds, actresses, World leaders, Indian chiefs, etc. Topps' recent issues have noted the diversity of those 19th century sets, recognizing that baseball was a very small part of the overall collecting canvas at the time.
Allen & Ginter's best-known set was issued in 1887 under the "World's Champions" tagline and featured 50 athletes from several different sports. The fronts feature a brightly-colored lithograph painting that blends into the white border around it. Some cards feature an added image related to the sport represented, but none of the baseball players have that. Below the picture are a name, an advertisement for Allen & Ginter and a note of the company's home city of Richmond, Virginia. The backs feature a checklist, with all 50 athletes listed with their respective sports.
Only ten cards feature baseball players, and six of those are Hall of Famers. That makes the set attractive to collectors, but many don't consider picking up the non-baseball subjects as well. Those non-baseball cards do have some added value, since they sometimes feature personalities that are legendary in American history, such as sharpshooter Annie Oakley, showman Wild Bill Cody and boxer John L. Sullivan.
The full set features baseball players, pugilists (we now call them boxers), wrestlers, oarsmen, rifle shooters, billiards and pool players. The company also offered the same 50 images found in the set as a premium album in exchange for coupons.
Key 1887 N28 Allen & Ginter Baseball Cards
Click on the images or listings to shop for cards on eBay.
1888 N28 Allen & Ginter Baseball Card Checklist
Adrian C. Anson
Chas. W. Bennett
Capt. Jack Glasscock
John M. Ward
Geo. F. Slosson
Geo. H. Hosmer
John L. Sullivan
Capt. A.H. Bogardus
Dr. W.F. Carver
Hon. W.F. Cody
Miss Annie Oakley
Young Bibby (Goe. Mehling)