The little biliken cartoon character, popular in the States in the early 20th Century, became the logo for a brand of Cuban cigarettes in the 1920s. Those cigarettes and the cards that accompanied them are now regarded as a living record of the high point in the history of baseball in Cuba. During that decade most of the greatest players in the world appeared on the Caribbean island, including stars of the Negro Leagues from the US, as well as players from Cuba and Mexico. Unbelievable talent like Pop Lloyd, Oscar Charleston, and Ghost Marcelle would join Jose Mendez, Alejandro Oms, and Cristobal Torriente for the winter league of 1923-24. And the stars of the league were celebrated on photographic cards, one inserted in each pack to protect the cigarettes. These photographic cards are now highly sought after.
In the year 2000, after completing many trips to Cuba for baseball research for “Smoke, The Romance and Lore of Cuban Baseball”, Mark Rucker returned home with a complete set of Biliken cards. Since he knew he would never have the opportunity again, he used the complete set to create a poster to commemorate the compilation. This is not a reproduction of a Billiken advertisement. Instead it is his invention, design and tribute to this great era in baseball history.
The copyrighted 2000 poster is a limited edition of 300. The 21.5″ x 28″ poster contains all 54 cards in the set, is printed on fine art, acid-free paper, is signed and numbered by Mark Rucker, and is ready for framing.
Price: $79.95 including shipping