Updated: Feb 17
Collecting sports cards, like baseball or basketball-cards are still a hobby for fans today, perhaps not as popular as it once was. The joy of finding your favorite rookie card or getting a card autographed is a moment a collector may never forget.
משמר וספורט : אוסף התמונות של "דובק" מחיי הנוער העברי בארץ
יעקבסון, ג. (עורך)
In Israel, in those days sports fans collected cards depicting their heroes and Zalman’s picture was one of those deemed worth collecting. In 1938 he appeared on three cards dedicated to Palestinian Jewish wrestlers, part of a set produced by the local printers Dubek. One card shows Zalman posing with two other wrestlers; the other two are scenes from bouts in which he fought. In more tranquil times Zalman may have managed to construct a lifetime career for himself in the sport, as a fighter, trainer, referee and perhaps even one day as a pundit or manager. But Zalman didn’t live in such times and, much as he enjoyed wrestling, he knew he had to subdue his passion in favor of more pressing matters. A lifetime in wrestling was not the main reason why he had made the decision to emigrate to Palestine.
In a 2005 article by ynet news it reported, years before the establishment of the State of Israel, long before the Ministry of Health determined that smoking is harmful to your health and should be noted on every pack, the Dubek cigarette company distributed an album for collecting stickers called "Guard and Sports" also known as “"Mishmar VeSport”. The captions of the photographs suggest that the campaign was carried out in the early 1940s (the photographs deal with the years between 1936-1939). The photographs or sports card for filling the collector’s album were hidden in the cigarette packages – yikes! Enclosed is a copy from Zalman’s collection, it’s the first collector’s book, which supposedly had follow-up albums that followed. The other cigarette competitors also sold similar albums (Habimah Ha'Ivrit, "The History of Israel”).
Can you imagine if Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards decided to partner with these Cigarette companies, how would that go over with the kinder (children) today?