I was familiar with the Leaf brand of cards put out by Donruss starting in 1985. I have all the Leaf Cubs cards from 1985 through their end in 2005.
What I didn't have were the Leaf cards from waaay back. Leaf put out the first color post-WWII set, in 1949. The set is one of the toughest sets to complete. It's also one of the more expensive sets.
I knew that the only way I was going to get to check this one off my list was to get a reprint set. Yet even those are nowhere to be found. Search Ebay using "1949 Leaf reprint Cubs" and you will get zero matches. The best I can do is save the search and wait for something to show up.
Eleven years later, in 1960, Leaf put out another set. This one came out in competition with Topps. To avoid legal trouble, the packs didn't have gum, but instead, a marble. Really, a marble!
I don't think those packs stacked up very well in a box.
The checklist consists of 144 cards issued in two series. The second series, #73-144, are scarce. There are eleven Cubs in the set, including seven in the second series. No reprints were found for this set either, so I picked up the real McCoys. Only a couple of the second series were priced pretty high. I decided to treat myself.
The cards themselves are very plain looking. They have a black and white picture, and the player's name, position, and team are printed in black. There is no color.
Also missing from the set is the Cubs biggest star in 1960, Ernie Banks. I'm guessing that there were several star players that Leaf couldn't sign.
Pretty plain looking, aren't they.
When you see them compared to what Topps was putting out, it's pretty easy to see why Leaf lost this battle.