Rueckheim

Years in Production

1939-41, 46-48, 51-52, 61-79

Chicago, Illinois

Company History

Rueckheim is named after Frederick William “Fritz” Rueckheim, generally credited with inventing Cracker Jack popcorn as we know it today.

Rueckheim’s reputation in the industry today as a premium collectible comes not only from it’s Cracker Jack legacy, but from their near legendary 1939 offering.

Rueckheim was the first major card producer to issue card sets for members of the Negro Leagues, and owners Jed Poundstone and Bradley Berle (former Cracker Jack executives) were vocal advocates of integration and petitioned the commissioner of major league baseball to integrate near yearly starting in 1942.

Before passing away in 1974, Jed Poundstone said his proudest moment was telling his card designer Charles Towers there would be no need for a Negro Leagues set in 1947, and breaking down together realizing what was at hand – one set of cards and all players playing together as Poundstone had always believed it should be.

The original Rueckheim factory in Chicago, pictured in 1961. Note the dark-colored Chevrolet convertible on the left – Jed Poundstone’s personal vehicle.

Vintage Rueckheim cards have long been considered the “gold standard” by which all others have been judged, attributable to premium card stock, tight quality control during production, and well-received designs both then and today.