1950-51 Denia Deportivos Album
The highly sought after 1950-51Denia Deportivos album, a classic because of its great color head shot and action stamps that include some of the last hardy men of the soon-to-be-defunct Negro Leagues who played in the Puerto Rican Winter League Additionally, there are 2 pages of boxing and 2 of basketball cards. They have a local flavor (some are from the Dominican Republic.) Many of these cards (not to mention the album itself) are ridiculously rare by themselves, so to have them all, most in great condition, speaks for itself. Or make that "almost" all, since the album is complete except for a measly 3 of the 292 cards present and accounted for. By a loose definition, one could easily call the album "complete." By any definition, it is perhaps the best surviving copy of Deportivos that can be found. Remarkably, the cover shows nearly no traces of aging. The red "Deportivos" seems to leap off the page the way the illustrated figures of assorted athletes bound around all over the rest of the page. Subtitle reads: "Collecion de estampas del Deporte en Puerto Rico y la Republica Dominicana" in blue and red lettering. Cards are 1 1/16” x 2 1/2" and feature the image of the player or on-field scene above the name of the player on black or a brief caption of the action shot in red. Among the most collectible individual cards are those of Brooklyn Dodgers James (Junior) Gilliam and Dan Bankhead (of Santurce) and Negro league HOFer Leon Day of Santurce EX. Other Negro leaguers of note: George Crowe (San Juan), Artie Wilson (Mayaguez), Bob Thurman, Johnny Davis, Willard Brown EX+, Bus Clarkson, Jim Lamarque (Santurce), Barney Brown, Barney Serrell (Ponce), and Piper Davis (Criollos), and island legends Perucho Cepeda, Ruben Gomez, Tite (aka Luis) Arroyo, and the first Puerto Rican player to make it to the big leagues, Hiram Bithorne, who in a rare honor is identified as "Nuestro (Our) Hiram Bithorne." Two pages are devoted to each team, with the left page filled with head shots and the right page action shots. There are also pages of "Denia" award winners, sponsored by the powdered milk product that sponsored the album that features a full-sized ad on the back cover that lists the island's radio stations. Inside the front cover is a raffle with grand prizes such as a refrigerator, a bicycle and a stove. Album is 8 1/2 x 11 1/4". Cover has one tear along the top edge; pages are nicely and evenly browned, while the stamps remain near pristine. Nothing better represents the classic age of sports in Puerto Rico than this important album.