2005 Helmar Brewing Company Sports Cards

Great retro-themed set of cards

In 2005, the Helmar Brewing Company produced a regional issue card set, along with other various collectables featuring athletes from several different sports. The Helmar company president is a sports fan who seems to have a genuine affection for the sports collectables hobby, and he likes marketing his products with items that sports fans will enjoy. The Helmar Brewing trading card series was first introduced in June of 2005 in areas of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Being a fan of “retro” themed sportscards, I was attracted to the Helmar cards as soon as I saw them. They are roughly the size of old tobacco cards, but are very thick. Each card features some really great artwork, which was done by the Helmar Brewing Companies advertising department. The card backs each had a scratch-off spot in which you could find redemption prizes like t-shirts, unused bottle caps (crowns), discounts on other Helmar merchandise, and the grand prize was to win some original artwork that was used in the design of the Helmar cards.

The Helmar Brewing trading card set slowly became popular after its release, due to the fact that not very many people even knew it existed. The Helmar Brewing Company really didn’t do much promotion other than just using the collectables as a way to market their products. I found out about the cards purely by accident if I remember correctly, after I stumbled across some on eBay and as I said, I immediately wanted a set.

The Helmar Brewing cards were available only by purchasing a one ounce bag of chips, and each bag of chips contained one pack that had 3 cards inside. Some collectors ended up purchasing several cases of the chips to try to make a complete set of cards, and others like me bought groups of cards off eBay. Even doing it that way, putting a set together is extremely tough due to horrible collation. Like I said, some people went through case after case of potato chips, and still didn’t have a complete Helmar Brewing set of cards. In some cases, you would get the same cards over and over again, and only have a handful of cards towards your set, along with a bunch of duplicates. The backs of the Helmar cards are very condition sensitive, as almost every example you can find will have some chipping along the back edges.

Other than just sportscards, you can find the other Helmar collectables such as bottle caps from Helmar beers that feature personalities such as Shoeless Joe Jackson and others. Everything that the Helmar Brewing company produced in 2005 could be considered a collectable, from the bottle caps I just mentioned to the beer bottle labels (which can sometimes be found unused), to the carriers the bottles come in. One of the nicest items from Helmar in 2005 was their wooden advertisement signs with a “vintage” look to them.

There are 24 different Helmar bottle caps (crowns) that could be obtained off the beer bottles,  but as far as I know that was only if you lived in the areas where the beer was sold (Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).  Today, it’s possible to order Helmar beer online.

Although the Helmar Company says it plans to keep on producing sports collectables on an ongoing basis, so far only the first series has been released. Hopefully we’ll see another series of sports collectibles from Helmar this year.

Helmar Brewing Company Card Checklist

  • Adamick, Jimmy
  • Anderson, G.
  • Baker, Frank "Home Run"
  • Ball, Walter
  • Barnstorming Team, -House of David
  • Bell, J.
  • Berg, Moe
  • Betto, Kaoru
  • Bittle, Dennis
  • Brewer
  • Brown, Mordecai
  • Caldwell, Slim
  • Carnera, Primo
  • Chapman, Ray
  • Cobbin
  • Crutchfield, J.
  • Cuyler, KiKi
  • Dalager
  • Daniels
  • Deal, Eddie
  • Dempsey, Jack
  • Dewhurst
  • Dihigo, Martin
  • Donovan
  • Evers, Johnny "The Crab"
  • Felsch
  • Flick, Elmer
  • Foster, Rube
  • Fujimoto, Sadayoshi -Japanese Baseball
  • Gandil -baseball
  • Goto -Japanese Baseball
  • Gragg, Sy -baseball
  • Greb, Harry -boxer
  • Hamilton, A. -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • Harrison, D. -House of David baseball
  • Hauser, Joe -baseball
  • Hill, Pete -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • Huggins, Miller -baseball
  • Jackson, Joe -baseball
  • Jackson, Joe -baseball
  • Jeannette, J. -boxer
  • Jenkins, Demetrius -boxer
  • Jennings -baseball
  • Johnson, Jack -boxer
  • Jones, D. -baseball
  • Kaiser, Cecil -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • Kawakami -Japanese Baseball
  • Kawakami, Chiba, Aota & Noguchi -Japanese Baseball
  • Ketchel, Stanley -boxer
  • Knox, Darnell -boxer
  • Lida, Tokuji -Japanese Baseball
  • Malarcher, Dave -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • McAleer, Hugh -baseball
  • McGraw, JJ -baseball
  • McVea, Sam -boxer
  • Nelson, Battling -boxer
  • Noguchi, Jiro -Japanese Baseball
  • Pennock -baseball
  • Radcliffe, "Double Duty" -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • Rixey, Eppa -baseball
  • Robinson, Sugar Ray -boxer
  • Rogell, Billy -baseball
  • Sage, Bob -boxer
  • Schmelling, Max -boxer
  • Sharkey, Jack -boxer
  • Stearns, Turkey -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • Tally, Jesse Lee -House of David baseball
  • Tucker, John -House of David baseball
  • Waddell, Rube -baseball
  • Walker, Moses "Fleet" -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • Walker, Percy -House of David baseball
  • Washington -Negro Lea. Baseball
  • Weaver, Buck -baseball
  • Youngs, Ross -baseball

Helmar Brewing Company Bottle Caps (Crowns)

  • 1. M. Brown, Chicago
  • 2. Cochrane, Detroit
  • 3. Babe Ruth, New York
  • 4. Lefty Grove, Phila.
  • 5. Wagner, Pitts.
  • 6. M. Brown, St. Louis Fed.
  • 7. Mathewson, New York
  • 8. J. Foxx, Boston
  • 9. Babe Ruth, New York
  • 10. Babe Ruth, Brooklyn
  • 11. Wagner, Pitts.
  • 12. M. Brown, Chicago
  • 13. Cool Papa Bell, St. Louis Negro
  • 14. Pennock, New York
  • 15. Wagner, Pitts.
  • 16. Wm. Rogell, Detroit
  • 17 .J. Foxx, Phila.
  • 18. W. Johnson, Washington
  • 19. W. Johnson, Washington
  • 20. Joe Jackson, Chicago
  • 21. Joe Jackson, Chicago
  • 22. Cochrane, Detroit
  • 23. Wm. Rogell, Detroit
  • 24. Lefty Grove, Boston

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