Vintage Sports Report

This week, we wrap up the series on the W series cards. We've got a look at the final four sets that we haven't covered in previous reports in the series.

Hi everyone. Before we start today, we'd like to pay tribute to, Cory Lidle, who was killed in a tragic plane crash this week. Our hearts go out to his wife and young son. We'd also like to offer condolences to the family of Phillies great Johnny Callison, who passed away at the age of 67. The Phillies' family lost two great members this week.

Now, to finish off the W series. First on the list today is 1921-1922 W575-1. The known variations indicate this set was issued over a period of time, likely encompassing more than one calendar year or baseball season. These strip cards are essentially blank backed versions of the contemporary American Caramel E121 set, though the checklists do not exactly correspond. Ideally cut cards measure 2 x 3 ¾ inches and are printed in black and white. It is impossible to distinguish W575-1 cards from the blank backed Koesiters Bread Yankees and Giants cards issued to commemorate the 1921 Subway World Series. The complete set still has many gaps in it that have not surfaced. The Phillies are as follows: Art Fletcher, Lee Meadows, John Rawlings, Curtis Walker and Cy Williams (all valued at $30), Earl Neale (valued at $55) and Casey Stengel (valued at $90).

Next is 1922 W575-2. The blanked backed black and white cards in the set measure 2 1/8 x 3 3/8 inches. Because of the design of the cards the set is sometimes called the autograph or shoulder series. Some cards have the players position and team added to the name inscription. The cards were issued by Kromo Gravue Photo Company, Detroit, Michigan. The only phillie in the set is jimmy ring, valued at $55.

Then, there's the 1925-1931 W590. Originally unlisted, this card set was given the number 590 in later editions, it is part of a larger set catalogued as W580, which includes movie stars, boxers, and other athletes. These cards measure approximately 1 3/8 x 2 ½ inches. Fronts have black and white player photos with a white border. In the bottom border is the players name, position, city, and league. Some cards can be found with a former designation before the position. Several variations are known in team designations. The set has been re-issued more than once between 1927 and 1931. Backs are blank. The one Phillie in the set is George Burns and his card is valued at $50.

The last of the W series, 1921 W9316. As crude as any of the strip cards of the era, this issue is the worst. In the same blank backed format and size, about 1 1/2 x 2 ½ inches, the set features ten of the players from W519/W521 series. The artwork on these cards is very crudely done, almost child-like. The most striking feature about the pictures is the ruby red lips of the players. There are no Phillies in this set.

This completes all the known and catalogued W series strip cards. Happy hunting for your cards. As always, any questions about the w series or any suggestions about future articles, please e-mail us at and remember to check our ebay auctions at rsvintagesports. And thanks again to my beautiful wife for helping me with all my articles.

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