Clearly I’m stretching the definition of a “card” with today’s Card of the Day choice. The 1914 B18 Felt Blanket set does not look like a card in any sense, especially if you have one in hand, instead of just seeing a scan. If you follow vintage baseball cards, then you know that a lot of things that aren’t technically baseball cards, get grouped into the cards category. That’s really just because traditional cards are more popular and make up a much bigger group. Breaking off things like pins, felt blankets or stamps into their own group (either separate or one non-card group) wouldn’t make much sense.
With that in mind, we take a look at the Felt Blanket card of third baseman Mike Mowrey. He was part of an unpopular trade that went very poorly for the Pittsburgh Pirates in December of 1913. Owner Barney Dreyfuss had a man-crush on first baseman Ed Konetchy that he professed many times before actually acquiring him. He finally caved in and paid a high price for him. Maybe this deal makes more sense a few years earlier when Konetchy still had more prime years left, but he had already picked up 60% of his career WAR before this deal, and he’s no Hall of Famer, so you could expect his peak performance in Pittsburgh to be somewhat limited.
Mike Mowrey was a solid player who was two years older than Konetchy. He ended up being the worst player for his new team in the eight-player trade, and that’s with Konetchy jumping to the Federal League after one season. The Pirates put Mowrey on waivers in early August of 1914 and no one picked him up, so he was released. Not being a star player by any means, and only playing a partial season in Pittsburgh, you can safely assume that there aren’t a lot of Pirates related things out there for Mowrey. Fortunately for us, he made it into the B18 Felt Blanket set, one of the few baseball card sets put out during that year. We have looked at this set once before for Jim Viox.
Here’s the front of the card:
Did you not think that a “blanket” card was a literal square from a blanket, like a baseball card set you could actually sew together if you so chose to do? There’s no back scan to include here. It’s just a reverse image of the blanket image without the last name visible. If you look close enough to the back, you can make out the reverse of “Pittsburgh” and “N.L.” on those pennants to the sides of Mowrey.
What you see here is standard for the set. You get a player in a random pose, many looking like this, but some are fielding or batting. They only included last names, though that seems like a space issue. I think they could have included “Mike” here because Rabbit Maranville got his entire last name, BUT they did write out “Ty Cobb” without needing to improvise to get his entire name.
The color choices here just seem random. The set has many two-ton colors examples, and players came with various colors. Most players have two color combos to choose from, but Cobb (an as example) has three choices. Mowrey can also be found with the color red replacing all of the purple you see above.
If you’re interested in getting this Mowrey Felt Blanket, you only have two choices right now on Ebay, with only one completed auctions in the last three months for comparison. It’s not a great comparison because the sold one was in rough shape compared to the one you see above. It sold for $35. This one is for sale for $130, which is the same price range as some Hall of Famers. Then there’s one in an auction that also has the Felt Blanket of New York Yankees pitcher Ray Keating. The auction is $85, with a best offer option.