Saturday, November 21, 2020

Sports Immortals Part 1

 It's been awhile since my last post, but I came across some unique cards I had not seen before.

1993 Kitchen Sink Sports Immortals.  I found this 36 card set at a garage sale.  I'll show some of the baseball cards today and later in Part 2.  The following is an excerpt from an internet web site:

Steve Krupp's Curio Shoppe


In 1993, Kitchen Sink Press routinely announced and published Sports Immortals card set. Featuring "immortal" stars from baseball, football, basketball, golf and boxing, with incisive text by author Mike Barson, and was part of its ongoing series of boxed card sets that included R. Crumb's Heroes of the BluesCharles Burns' Good Squad; Barson's Dinosaur NationScott Shaw's Oddball ComicsMonte Beauchamp's War CryWill Eisner's The Spirit; ConfidentialSaucer People, Republicans Attack! and many, many others.

Kitchen Sink Press (KSP) and Barson were careful to use only historic images that had lapsed into public domain. This included the cover of a biography of Babe Ruth, just one of 36 different sports figure images in the set (other sports figures in the set are listed below). But soon after publication of Sports Immortals, KSP and Barson were put on notice by the company that licensed Babe Ruth merchandise, that KSP must immediately "cease and desist" selling the cards, based on an obscure "right to privacy" law in place in only two or three states. Nor was the Ruth estate's representative willing to retroactively license the single Babe Ruth card image (it allegedly conflicted with a separate exclusive license). After quick discussions with Barson and its attorney, KSP determined grudgingly that it would be too expensive to challenge the large licensing firm and, thus, KSP immediately ceased selling Sports Immortals, notifying its distributors and wholesale customers that no further orders could be fulfilled.

KSP publisher Denis Kitchen set aside a small quantity for his personal archives and the balance was destroyed. Only about 1,200 of the 3,000 sets originally published were wholesaled prior to the cease and desist order, leaving Sports Immortals ---by far--- the scarcest card set ever produced by KSP. In 1999 KSP went out of business. 


















2 comments:

  1. Never heard of these before, but magazine covers on baseball cards will always be awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very cool. 1,200 sets might sounds like a lot, but back in the early 90's that was super duper rare. It'd be cool to stumble across a few of these singles for my binders.

    ReplyDelete

Sports Immortals Part 1

 It's been awhile since my last post, but I came across some unique cards I had not seen before. 1993 Kitchen Sink Sports Immortals.  I ...