Monday, September 21, 2009

A Couple More Scorecards

The goal for my scorecard collection is to have one from each season starting in 1961, the year I was born. A couple of recent purchases now have me within one card of finishing. All that is left is a 1961 card.

My latest additions are from 1963 and 1965. I've been wondering just how many of these are still available and in good condition? And are old scorecards more scarce than baseball cards?

Consider this with regards to the 1965 scorecard. That year, the Cubs were not good. The total attendance for the season was 641,361 (today they draw about 5 times that figure!). It averaged to less than 8,000 per game. How many cards would they print per game? 1000? 2000? Over an entire season, that might mean around 100,000 - 150,000 were printed. And how many of those survived the 40+ years, and are still in good condition?

How does that compare to baseball cards available? Any one have any ideas about how many of a particular card were printed in 1965? I think it would be safe to say that Topps printed more baseball cards than the Cubs did scorecards.

My 1965 scorecard was from the day after Memorial Day, May 31, 1965. Since Memorial Day was on a Sunday that year, I'm guessing everyone had the day off on Monday, the 31st. The Cubs played the Mets in a double hearder and drew 32,250. It was their biggest crowd of the season (and 5% of their total season attendance!). With a bigger crowd expected, they must have printed more scorecards than usual. That may explain why this one has survived....the more cards printed, they better chance of some surviving.

The game that was scored was game 2, which ended up in a 3-3 tie. I suppose the game was called after nine because of darkness (remember, no lights at Wrigley until 1988) and since it was tied, it would be replayed. The Cubs actually played 164 games that season.

The 1963 scorecard is from August 25. The Cubs beat the Mets 3-1 in front of a Sunday crowd of 15,137. Starter Dick Ellsworth pitched a complete came and picked up his 18th win of the season. The bigger crowd would again help explain why this card survived. I wonder how many scorecards are still out there for May 16, 1963, when the Cubs had a crowd(?) of 2,210?

Enjoy the cards, and cringe at the concession prices.

1963 Front

1963 Inside left An interesting thing I've found as I've been collecting these cards is that the ones that are scored are all done differently. Everyone seems to have their own particular way of scoring a ballgame.

1963 Inside right Old Style and Bud for 40 cents!

1963 back

1965 Front The price jumped to 15 cents, and would remain the same until 1974, a run of nine seasons. Do you think you can buy anything at a ballpark today that has the same price as it did in 2000? I doubt it.

1965 Inside left

1965 Inside right The beer is going to cost you and extra nickel now!

1965 back The pictures are the same on the backs of the '63 and '65 cards, though a couple of the slogans have been changed.

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