1948-49 Toleteros Album
The 1948-49 Toloteros Album has added significance, considering it was produced the year of Jackie Robinson's ascension and gave the impression to everyone playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League that they might have a realistic shot of making the big leagues with a good showing before the scouts. This is the first and rarest of the Toleteros albums, this edition featured b&w cards of all the players, an aggregate of big league, Negro league and Puerto Rican talent with some impressive standouts. The album is a complete collection of 162 cards (included in this book are 168 cards,) each approx. 1 1/2 x 2 1/4" and consisting of a head shot and the player's name underneath. The dark sepia toned cards have been mounted with tape onto their assigned spots on the pages given to each team. The most desirable cards are the Negro leaguers: HOFer Hilton Smith (Ponce) grades VG-EX because of centering top to bottom the corners are strong, Howard Easterling (San Juan), Buster Clarkson, George Scales (Ponce), Wilmer Fields, Lucius Easter, Artie Wilson (Mayaguez), Willard Brown -- the island fave known as "Esa Hobre" (That Man), Robert Thurman, Joseph Lamarque (Santurce), Piper Davis, Quincy Trouppe, Dan Bankhead (Caguas). Also of note: Hiram Bithorne, the 1st Puerto Rican player to make it to the big leagues. Album is 9 1/2 x 11 1/4" with green front and back covers. Front cover reads "Album de Toloteros" above a red sticker of a batter surrounded by the names of the 6 teams. On the right are the words, in Spanish: "Collection of valiant professional ballplayers of Puerto Rico." Back cover has some of the rules of the game. Front cover is VG with foxing mainly at the bottom and some scattered soiling and wrinkling. Conditions of the cards ranges from G-EX, (6) of the cards have signatures. The high #ed photographic for the most part are very presentable about 50% are VG-EX including Guillian, the remainder range from PR-VG. This is possibly the best 1948-49 Toleteros complete album in existence.