1909 W555 Strip Card Set

w555-cobb

Front

w555back

Back

Fast Facts

Year(s) Issued: 1909
Set Designation: W555
Number Cards: 68
Card Size: 1-1/4" x 1-1/4"
Common Card Value (Good Condition): $35
Scarcity Rating: (1 to 10, 10 scarcest):  8

Full W555 Checklist


W555 Strip Card Set

Keys For Collectors

  • Smaller, square cards that were cut from the bottom of a box of 'Base Ball Snap Shots', believed to have been issued by Jay S. Meyer Confectioners of Philadelphia. (source)
  • Thus, while Jefferson Burdick had the cards catalogued as 'Strip Cards', likely more of an E or Early Candy and Gum Card Issue
  • The card images closely resemble many of the early caramel issues, such as those in the those in the E93, E94, E97 and E98 sets, also confirming the likelihood of a candy relationship.
  • The box, with the cards was intended to be folded up to resemble a toy camera.
  • The 68 card set features some of the biggest names of the era, early in their playing career, including Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, and Eddie Plank. 
  • The cards are somewhat scarce; PSA has graded only ~160 cards from the set. 

W555 "Strip Card" Set - A Unique Early 1900's Baseball Issue

The W555 'Strip Cards', were misidentified by Jefferson Burdick in The American Card Catalog as strip cards, with later year discoveries confirming that the cards were a part of a box, issued by a candy company - Jay S. Meyer Confectioners. 

The cards were a part of a unique box that was designed for kids to replicate a camera.  

baseball-snapshots

Thus, while the cards technically had to be cut, they were not a part of a strip, as initially believed by Burdick. 

The cards might be the ugliest of all the W cards, just for the fact that the print of the player image is really dull, and the cards are basically thick cardboard squares.  

Still, despite being hard to look at it, the appeal comes from the huge star power in the set.  

Believed to have been issued in 1909-1910, these cards represent a relatively affordable way to own cards of some of the best to ever play the game.

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w555-cobb

It's not to say these cards won't set you back some dollars, but the cost pales in comparison to say any of the same era tobacco (T205, T206) card or any other early caramel issues. 

Note that Cy Young has two cards in the set - one a 'Portrait' issue and another noted as a 'Standing' issue. The 'Portrait' card is actually a photo of Irv Young, something that was eventually figured out and corrected in the set.

w555-irv-young

W555 Cy Young...err Irv Young, an uncorrected error card

These aren't super easy to find, but occasionally you can find some of the bigger stars, ungraded, on eBay for a decent price. Just beware, there are fakes out there on these cards, especially on the Wagner, Cobb and Cy Young. 

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