The 1929 Chicago Cubs/Certified Ice Cream Pins
The 1929 Chicago Cubs were featured in three team pins. The first is an oval, and pictures the team members in a group shot. The other two are 3″ in diameter and feature individual head shots. These two pins were elegantly designed and richly crafted. Furthermore, one is a derivative of the other, and both spawned pins (1″) of individual players.
The original pin promoted a local business, the Certified Ice Cream Company. Historical business records indicate the company was located at 1638 Gerard Avenue in Chicago. The pin shows 21 head shots in the pattern of a baseball, along with the words, “Compliments of Certified Ice Cream Co.” It is not known how, why, or where these pins were distributed to the public. It is unknown why the Certified Ice Cream Company elected to promote their company through the pins for the 1929 season. Five stars of the 1929 Chicago Cubs team were selected for presentation on individual pins: Bush, Cuyler, Hornsby, Stephenson, and Wilson. These pins feature the same head shot of the player presented on the team pin. However, unlike the team pin made of celluloid, these individual player pins were lithographs.
The inscription on the individual player pins is “Certified’s Ice Cream Sold at Wrigley Field.” It is not known why the possessive (“Certified’s”) was on the individual player pins while the singular (“Certified”) was used on the team pin. Perhaps the individual player pins were distributed over the course of the 1929 season at Wrigley Field, while the team pin was distributed in some other fashion.
The second team pin was issued very late in the 1929 season or after the World Series. The pin was made by excising the inscription pertaining to the Certified Ice Cream Company and replacing it with “Souvenir Chicago Cubs 1929 Champions.” A careful inspection of the pin reveals where the cuts were made in the original paper, permitting insertion of the new inscription. The Cubs easily won the National League pennant (by 10.5 games) and were scheduled to play four of the World Series games at Wrigley Field. The pin was likely sold as a souvenir at Wrigley Field during the 1929 World Series, or during the following season.
Likewise, individual player pins were also created to celebrate the Cubs winning the National League pennant. However, because lithograph pins involve the direct application of ink to metal, unlike with the celluloid team pin, the individual player pins could not be converted from the original ice cream pins. The player’s image remained as before, but the inscription was changed. The new inscription read, “Souvenir Chicago Cubs 1929 World Series.”
The two respective sets of pins differ in scarcity, but not uniformly. The 3″ Certified Ice Cream team pin is much more scarce than its 1929 World Series counterpart. The reverse holds true for the individual player pins. The individual player ice cream pins are scarce, but they do enter the market (individually or collectively) on a sporadic basis. However, the individual player World Series pins are extremely rare. I have only seen two or three of the five. Completing both sets of six pins each would be a spectacular accomplishment for the advanced collector.
Next up: Overprints and Overlays