Seals on the Homefront

All Cards

I recently purchased a 2017 San Francisco Seals set commemorating the players from the WWII era. The 73-card set was produced by the artist, Carl Aldana, who often used historical images of the PCL in his paintings.

Carl__Aldana_Seals_Stadium_3_1037_64

Aldana worked in Hollywood as a storyboard illustrator and in other art related capacities. He contributed to movies ranging from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” to “Halloween 3.” In a sad note, Mr. Aldana passed away on February 8, 2019.

Lefty O

The most appealing part of the Seals set is that Aldana used the early ‘50s PCL “Mother’s Cookies” template. The cards have rounded corners and feature solid pastel background. Mr. Aldana colorized the black and white photos. The backs feature a check list with the cards arrange by background color.

Big Names

Many of the players do not fall into the “household names” category, but several players with major league pedigree are in the set. Of course, the legendary manager of the Seals, Lefty O’Doul has a card. Tony Lazzeri, who played for the Seals during the war is featured as well. Ferris Fain would go on to win two batting titles with the Philadelphia A’s. Larry Janson joined the NY Giants in ‘47 and won 23 games in ’51, helping the Giants win the pennant…the Giants win the pennant!

Uniforms  Shield Logos

The Aldana retro-cards provide a good look at the various uniforms worn by the Seals during the ‘30s and ‘40s. During the war years, the club wore a patriotic shield for a cap emblem and arm patch.

Groups

There are several group cards in the set, including a “wacky” pose by the “Pitching Prospects.”

Posed Action

The intensity is palpable in these posed action shots.

Minor League Uni

Mr. Aldana never attempted to “airbrush” logos if he couldn’t find a photo of the player in a Seals uniform. This results in some cards featuring players in MLB uniforms or on other minor league teams.

This “seals the deal” for now, but in a follow up post I will look at Aldana’s other PCL cards done in the Mother’s Cookies style. There are several ’57 Seals cards that will interest the Red Sox fans amongst us, since San Francisco was a Bosox affiliate.

 

Author: Tim Jenkins

Sports memorablilia collector with Seattle teams emphasis. HOF autographs, baseball cards and much more. Teacher for over 30 years. Attended games at 35 different MLB parks.

12 thoughts on “Seals on the Homefront”

  1. I have that very same Jim Adair card in my own collection and it’s one of my favorite oddball pieces. I had a nice exchange with Mr. Aldana about his work when he first jumped back into the card scene (he produced a few “borders” back in the 70’s) and found him to be exceptionally friendly. Sadly, I had not heard of his passing. What a terrible loss for the hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was hoping to exchange emails with him. PCL collector, Mark McCrae, informed me of Mr. Aldana’s death. My next post will include some of the ’70s stuff.

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  2. My goodness, I had no idea that Carl had passed away . . . the last two years he’s been actively producing cards for all teams in all eras of the PCL, in that same Mother’s Cookies style. Steve Bilko, Ted Williams, Ike Boone, all of the DiMaggios, Satchell Paige as a Portland Beaver, Buzz Arlett . . . but even more than that, lesser known players you won’t find in many other sets. He actively sought good poses from 50, 60, 70 years ago, and then would produce and release half a dozen new cards at a time. He had just started a series of the 1947 Los Angeles Angels that was scheduled feature 20 players.

    Carl produced his cards in limited numbers, but there are still plenty of them out there. My advice to any fan of the old PCL is to visit the eBay story of “thebaseballhobbyist.” Stephen and Linda Mitchell of Edmonds, Washington have handled the sale of Carl’s cards on the site, and they also have one of the best inventories of oddball and collector cards, including probably the largest stock of the great TCMA sets of the ’70s and ’80s. You should give their store a look.

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    1. I bought the set from them and many of the singles. I plan to purchase more. I bought several at the Seattle area card show last June. They always have a table.

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      1. I’ve only dealt with the Mitchells online, but they are terrific card dealers with a great perspective of the hobby. As for the Carl Aldana PCL cards, I count 184 done in the Mother’s Cookies style, including 103 San Francisco Seals, and I’m sure most/all of them are still available on eBay. I’ve recently been doing some research on major league rookies from the middle of the last century, and it’s fun to sort through all of the Aldana cards and find player after player who went on to have at least a cup of coffee in the majors.

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    1. The Wills card is terrific, in his Rainiers uniform. I’ve got the Boyd, but I didn’t know about the Artie Wilson card, so, apparently there are more that I haven’t come across.

      I started out focusing on the Hollywood Stars and Los Angeles Angels players, but I ended up liking all the Aldana/Mother’s Cookie cards so much that I bought whatever was available 🙂

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  3. I’d never seen these, though I know the 1951 Mother’s Cookies PCL cards thanks to the Mel Ott in my collection. Really great looking cards. They at once carry the feel of the era while also featuring better photos than the actual cards of the time.

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  4. It was sad to hear Carl Aldana died in February. I recently had the PCL baseball card bug bite me. I was lucky enough to stumble upon Stephen and Linda Mitchell – thebaseballhobbyist ebay store – and have acquired 189 of Aldana’s PCL works. The cards are a fabulous addition to any collection and especially for anyone passionate about the PCL.

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    1. And the number is still growing. Carl’s daughter is continuing his legacy, taking over his work with new periodic issues of the Mother’s Cookies-style PCL cards. Just last week, the Mitchells posted four new cards at eBay: Lowell Creighton of San Francisco, Alonso Perry of Oakland, Mickey Rocco of Portland and a great-looking Spokane Indians card of a young Steve Garvey

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