I often fondly reminisce about my younger collecting days and walking the floor of the Ocean City Baseball Card Show held annually inside Ocean City's Music Pier. There was one older guy who always set up at the front of the room, right by the door, and he wore a replica 1950's-style Phillies jersey every year. As you could imagine, he always had a ton of cool Phillies stuff. One of his many, many binders of Phillies baseball cards was inscribed with the legend - ODDBALL PHILLIES. At the time, I had no idea what that meant, but my curiosity was definitely piqued. So I started flipping through the binder, only to find an amazing assortment of tattoos, stickers, discs, rub-off cards, cards cut from cereal boxes, and every imaginable bizarre shape and size of non-standard (oddball) baseball cards.
I don't think I ever bought anything from his ODDBALL PHILLIES binder, but I wish I had. Back then, I was focused on tracking down cards needed to complete my 1983 Topps set, or my Dad and I were trying to find the last few cards needed for our 1975 Topps set.
All these years later, and I'm starting to compile wantlists of those oddball cards, starting with the hardest to find (and most expensive) cards from the 1950s. The Red Man Tobacco card presented here was the only Phillie to be found in the same Magic Box that contained the Original 44 of our 1956 Topps set. It's missing the redeemable tab from the bottom, but it's still an awesome card. If you click and enlarge the back, you'll see that the original owner must have clipped the tab in order to save up for a "BIG LEAGUE style baseball cap FREE!" I'm hoping he or she gathered the other 49 tabs needed.
I'm going to put up a "wantlist" of 1950s oddball Phillies cards shortly. I'm posting these lists more for my own reference, and not because I think someone will actually e-mail me and want to set up a trade to send me a bunch of Dixie Lids from the '50s. However, if you happen to find any Dixie Lids or Armour Discs or Wilson Franks Phillies cards just lying around, I'd gladly give them a good home.