Vintage Sports Report

Well, with the Phillies' season coming to an end, it's time to think about next year's team. While Phillies fans are looking ahead, let's continue looking back with the Vintage Sports Report.

Continuing our series on the W strip cards, we start today by going way back to the 1909-1910 W555. Very little is known about this obscure set. The nearly square cards measure only 1 1/8 x 1 3/16 and feature a sepia colored player photo. Thus far, 66 different cards have been discovered, but others may exist. The manufacturer of this set is unknown but the set appears to be related to a series of contemporary candy cards - the E93, E94, E97 and E98 - because with only two exceptions, the players and poses are the same. It is not known how the cards were issued. There is speculation that they may have been issued as strip cards or as part of a candy box. The Phillies in the set are, Johnny Bates (valued at $75), Kitty Bransfield ($75), Harry Koveleski ($75), Red Dooin ($75), Mickey Doolin ($75), Sherry McGee ($75) and Earl Moore ($75).

Next are the 1927 W560. Although assigned a W number, this is not a strip card issue in the same sense as most other W sets. Although W560 cards are frequently found in uncut sheets of 16 cards, the cards measure a nominal 1 3/4 x 2 3/4 and are designed like a deck of playing cards, with pictures on the various suits. This set includes aviators and other athletes in addition to baseball players. Cards can be found with designs printed in red or black or, less commonly, with both red and black on each card. Some players will also be found with different suit/value combinations. Included in the set are Phillies Fresco Thompson ($25), and Cy Williams ($25).

The W565 set was issued in 1928. It's similar in concept to W560, the 50 cards comprising the set were printed on two 7 x 10 1/2 sheets of very cheap cardboard. One in black and white and one in red and white. Each with navy blue backs. Most of the cards in the issue are of movie stars with a few boxers, ball players, and other notables included. Most of the cards depict the person in the center of a playing card format, but it is interesting to note that a full deck of cards cannot be made up by cutting the sheets. Individual cards are 1 1/4 x 2 1/8. No Phillies were included in this set. Lou Gehrig is the highest valued card at $150.

Our next issue is the 1923 W572. These cards measure 1 5/16 x 2 1/2 and are blank backed. Fronts feature black and white or sepia player photos. The set is closely related to the popular E120 American Caramel set issued in 1922, which uses the same photos, with the exception of Ty Cobb. The cards were originally issued in strips of 10 with baseball players and boxers often mixed. They are found on either a white slick stock or a dark coarser cardboard. The players name on the front of the cards appears in script. All cards have a copyright symbol on the front and one of several alphabetical combinations indicating the source of the photo. The Phillies were well represented in the set, including Charles Glazner ($35), Walter Henline ($35), Wilbur Hubble ($35), Lee Meadows ($35), Frank Parkinson ($35), Goldie Rapp ($35), Jim Tierney ($35), Curtis Walker ($35) and Cy Williams ($35).

Next is the 1922 W573. These cares are blank backed, black and white versions of the popular E120 American Caramel set. These strip cards were sold in strips of ten for a penny. The cards measure about 2 1/16 x 3 3/8 but allowances in width must be made because the cards were hand cut from a horizontal strip. Some cards have been found with the advertising of various firms on the back. The Phillies in the set are Art Fletcher, Butch Henline, Wilbur Hubble, Lee King, Roy Leslie, Lee Meadows, John Mokan, Frank Parkinson, Joe Rapp, Jimmy Ring, Curtis Walker, Cy Williams and Lawrence Woodall and they're all valued at $50 a piece.

Next, we have the 1933 W574. Cards in this set measure an unusual 2 1/4 x 2 7/8. The black and white photos have a facsimile autograph and team name at the bottom. There are no Phillies in the set and the high value card is Jimmie Fox at $200.

We'll have to finish up the W series next week. There are just too many sets to fit into this week.

I want to thank my lovely secretary for helping me with all the W series sets. Any questions or requests can be e-mailed to Please send suggestions on what you would like to see in upcoming articles, since we are finishing up with the W series next week. Oh, and don't forget to check out our auctions on ebay at rsvintagesports.

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