The D304 set is often referred to as the General Baking issue and its cards have an advertisement for General Baking on the backs. However, a total of five different backs are found in this set. All had ties to the General Baking Company of Buffalo, NY, as either one of their bread brands or a bakery that sold the products.
D304 General Baking Company Basics
The D304 General Baking set was produced from 1911 through 1914. The cards feature full color lithographs and, as was common on other cards of the time period, included the player’s name and team at the bottom of the white-bordered fronts. Measuring, approximately 1 3/4″ x 2 1/2″, these cards had a more square-like appearance than the thinner tobacco and candy company cards.
The issue had only 25 cards but plenty of stars are found here. Nearly half of the issue is comprised of Hall of Famers. 12 of them exist with Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner leading the way. Others include Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Home Run Baker, Chief Bender, Frank Chance, Eddie Collins, Sam Crawford, Johnny Evers, Nap Lajoie, and Rube Marquard.
It should be noted that while 25 cards are known in the D304 set, not all have been found with each advertising back. To date, only one back (Brunners Bread) has been found on all 25 cards.
D304 General Baking Company Backs
Brunners Bread – Brunners cards utilized an olive/dark green ink and mentioned Brunners, Butter Krust, and Buster Brown bread brands. The backs also mention there are 25 in the set.
Butter Krust Bread – While mentioned on the Brunners backs, Butter Krust actually had its own separate back, too. The Butter Krust name is present here (also in green ink), stating that the bread could be found at Fleischmann Bakery. Backs also mention the set of 25 cards to be found.
General Baking Company – The parent company, General Baking Company, is featured on this back. These cards advertise that the cards are found in Star Bread, French Bread, and Little General Bread packages until October 1st (a year is not identified).
Martens Bakery – On these cards, Martens Bakery is the headliner. These cards stated that they were found in Butter Krust and little General Bread. The backs also chose to call their cards ‘Pennant Winners.’
Weber Bakery – Weber Bakery’s name was printed at the tops of these cards and mentions that the cards could be found in Butter Nut and Little General Bread products.
Five different backs are in this release as identified below. Some backs featured bakeries while others featured specific bread brands.
D304 General Baking Company Prices
All D304 General Baking Company cards are somewhat rare but Weber, Butter Krust, and Martens, are the rarest based on pop reports. Brunners is, by far, the most plentiful.
Tracking prices on these are difficult since a variety of factors can come into play. In general, however, mid-grade commons usually start in the $300-$500 range. Hall of Famers are, of course, significantly more. A modest PSA 3 Ty Cobb with a common Brunners Back, for example, sold for more than $13,000. Whenever a Cobb is auctioned, it is often a headliner of sorts.
You can see D304 cards currently for sale on eBay by clicking here.