A group of five previously uncatalogued cards from the 1961 Wilson Meats set have been uncovered, including a Hall of Fame pitcher.
Collector Larry Serota says he recently acquired the group on eBay, extending the known checklist from 12 to 17 different.
The group includes Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale and four members of the Angels, who were an expansion franchise at the time: Bob “Buck” Rodgers, Ed Sadowski, Lee Thomas and Albie Pearson.
Most all of the Wilson premiums feature Dodgers and Angels players and are believed to have originally been created for use during player autograph sessions sponsored by Wilson in Southern California. Several photos exist that have been autographed.
Measuring 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, they’re more photos than cards, but just like team picture packs, Rawlings Advisory Staff photos and similar issues, the hobby’s catalogs and price guides have always considered them in the card realm. The player’s name, position and team are printed at the bottom along with a message stating “Courtesy of Wilson & Co. Inc., Fine Meat Products.”
The set includes one of a fairly small number of cards issued for Maury Wills, the speedy Dodgers infielder who was one of the game’s biggest stars in the early 1960s.
There are three image variations for Frank Howard and two of Ron Perranoski. One of the Howard photos shows him as a member of the Washington Senators, which would indicate that Wilson was still making them after 1962.
The checklist now includes:
Ron Fairly, Dodgers
Gil Hodges, Dodgers
Frank Howard, Dodgers (batting)
Frank Howard, Dodgers (chest-up portrait)
Frank Howard, Senators
Ron Perranoski, Dodgers (dark background)
Ron Perranoski, Dodgers (light background)
Ed Roebuck, Dodgers
John Roseboro, Dodgers
Maury Wills, Dodgers
Don Drysdale, Dodgers
Ted Kluszewski, Angels
Bill Moran, Angels
Lee Thomas, Angels
Bob Rodgers, Angels
Ed Sadowski, Angels
Albie Pearson, Angels
The cards as a whole are quite rare today with a few occasionally offered on eBay.