Monday, August 04, 2008

2005 Helmar Brewing Co.

This is one of my favorite oddball sets of all time. The Helmar Brewing company inserted three card packs of these cards inside bags of potato chips in 2005. I've picked up a couple lots of these cards and some packs off of eBay and they are loads of fun. The cards are small, just enough larger than a T206 so they don't fit an any kind of plastic sheets. The suckers are thick too, about the thickness of a normal relic card. I ripped a pack last year, you can check it out here. I got three packs that time and sadly out of nine total cards I got 5 doubles. I found 4 more packs cheap online and decided to try my luck again. Here's one of the packs:

Darnell Knox, Detroit

Helmar is based in Michigan and there are lots of local heroes in this set as a result. Darnell was a boxer from 1981 to 1987 who fought as a middleweight. Darnell won 25 fights (19 KOs) and only lost 2. This is one of the best looking cards in the set showing knox ina classic fighting pose surrounded by Helmar advertising. Check out the beer bottle with Christy Mathewson!

Brewer, Indianapolis Negro Lea.

Sherwood Brewer (not to be confused with the pitcher Chet) was an infielder who played in the Negro Leagues in the 40's and 50's. Sherwood played with the Harlem Globetrotters baseball team (with Harry Simpson and Jesse Owens(!!!)) and the Indianapolis Clowns before playing for Buck O'Neill and the Kansas City Monarchs. He helped mentor Ernie Banks in Kansas City and took over for Buck as manager in 1955. After his playing days were over he helped promote the defunct Negro Leagues and the players. He passed away in 2003. A great article and photo of Sherwood can be found here.

J. Jackson, Cleveland

Shoeless Joe! In a Cleveland uniform instead of the White Sox, the team he is normally associated with. Shoeless played for Cleveland from 1910 until 1915, when he was traded to Chicago in midseason. Joe hit .408 for the Naps in 1911 and did the best hitting of his career in Cleveland before getting sent to the Sox for three players and cash. Joe went on to win a championship in Chicago (and sadly lost one as well). Don't feel bad for Cleveland for trading away Shoeless, the A's originally gave Joe to the Naps as the player to be named later in a a deal for Bris Lord. Yes, THE Bris Lord. We all know what happened later, but maybe it's time to forgive poor Joe.

Now you see why I love this stuff. Shoeless Joe, a Negro League legend and a cool boxing card for less than a pack of Topps. I'll be giving away one or two of these cards in my next A Pack A Day contest. If you want to see more of these cards, post a comment and if there's some interest I'll post 'em up on my own blog.


Jrod said...

The set looks mainly like Topps Turkey Red.

--David said...

DAWG - Shoeless Joe in a Tribe uni... I have got to score some of those packs!

HookMan said...

Pretty cards. I dig the colors. The Negro league card is nice.