COMC Challenge: 1951 Burger Beer Cincinnati Reds

First, we’d like to congratulate Brian Russ, the winner of the last COMC Challenge which asked for you to submit additions to Dennis Biddle’s Negro League set checklist.  That set has been used by various players primarily for signing autographs at card shows and through the mail.  Brian added seven cards to the checklist for COMC. Since these sets are player licensed we see no problem with adding these cards to either the Beckett Data Base or to COMC listings. Please note only the non-autograph cards can be added as the autographs are not certified.

COMC ChallengeAs we noted in our of our Ramblings, I was in the process of getting my non-profit show listed in the Beckett Data Base when I noted the photo in Bill Dumas’ office at Beckett. We chatted for a while about Dennis and Bill mentioned he would work with Dennis on seeing if he had a complete list of all players he made cards for. To me, that would be the ultimate solution but thanks to Brian for coming up with some great additions.

Our next Challenge is an interesting one for me. When I was editing the Beckett Almanac of Baseball Cards and Collectibles I was always fascinated by the Reds Burger Beer photo run. As we are continuing to discover, this run may have lasted even longer then the originally presumed run that began in 1952-53.

1951 Burger Beer Roy McMillan RedsWhat else is interesting is during this time the Reds were called the Redlegs because of the Communist scare then going around the country. That’s correct.  The Cincinnati Reds were actually the Redlegs because of fears they’d somehow be tied in with Communist association. Thankfully, unlike Hollywood, there are no documented cases of players being blacklisted from baseball because of their political views.

Recently, one of the fine verifiers at COMC emailed with a whole bunch of interesting items and opined that COMC had really started receiving some interesting cards. I have to say, I agree with him. What turned out to be even more interesting to me was he noticed the patch on the uniform of this Burger Beer Roy McMillan card, which dated it to 1951, McMillan’s rookie season.

When I checked both the Beckett Data Base as well as the Vintage Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards I could not find the design on the bottom of this photo on any other existing photos. Thus, the mystery for this COMC Challenge is… did Burger Beer issue a full 1951 Reds photo set and if they did, can you make any additions beyond Roy McMillan?

By the way, he grew up and lived not that far from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I remember after he passed seeing much of his trophy memorabilia at a local show.

Contribute some solid information and you could win a boatload of COMC History Points.  Send those responses to [email protected].  Good luck!

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