Years in Production
Rochester, New York
Hanebrinks Trading Cards was one of the earliest producers of baseball cards in a comprehensive format – including not only players, but managers, team cards, and checklists.
Hanebrinks was founded by Fred Hanebrink, a successful confectioner in the Rochester and Buffalo areas of upstate New York.
An avid baseball fan, Fred Hanebrink would become well-known for his attempts to get a major-league baseball team to come to Buffalo, even going so far as to formally offer to purchase the Cincinnati Reds (for the unheard of sum of $1 million) and move them. With that offer rejected, Hanebrinks was on the board with Branch Rickey during the formation of the Continental League, marketed as a competing league to the A.L. and N.L., but in actuality devised as a ploy to pressure MLB to expand.
Ultimately, this ploy worked, and in 1961-1962 the A.L. and N.L. would add two teams each to their leagues, bringing the total number of teams to 20.
Alas, Buffalo was not selected to be one of those teams, and Fred Hanebrink passed away in 1970 at the age of 71 without ever realizing his dream of major league baseball in Buffalo.
Hanebrinks baseball cards were issued from 1950 through our cutoff of 1979, lead first by Fred Hanebrink and then by his son, Miller Hanebrink and his daughter Katy Hanebrink (Foster) starting in 1971.