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1925-27 W512 Strip Card Set

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w512 ruth back


Fast Facts

Year(s) Issued: 1925-27
Set Designation: W512
Number Cards: 50
Card Size: 1-3/8" x 2-1/4"
Common Card Value (Good Condition): $20
Scarcity Rating: (1 to 10, 10 scarcest):  6

Full W512 Checklist

W512 Strip Card Set

Keys For Collectors

  • Color strip card set believed to have been issued from 1925 to 1927 by an anonymous issuer in 25-card uncut sheets
  • Crude cartoonish like images help distinguish the W512 set from other strip card issues of the era 
  • Catalogued by Jefferson Burdick in The American Card Catalog as 'Baseball-Athletes-Boxers-Movie Drawings' 
  • There are only ten baseball players in the set (cards 1-10), with twenty other sport cards, and twenty movie actor cards.
  • This is believed to be the first part of a 100 card set; Burdick noted the W513 set was a likely continuation of the W512 set.
  • Of the ten baseball players, many are big names such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Rogers Hornsby.
  • There are a few variations; four players (Alexander, Hornsby, Frisch and Scott) each have two card variations that reflect a change in team name on the front of the card, due to a trade.  Cobb and Speaker also have variations which include a position name on the front of the card

W512 Strip Cards - Ugly As Sin Or Hidden Vintage Baseball Card Gem?

I've been a part of many collector discussions which targeted the W512 set as the ugliest baseball card issue of all time. I get it, the drawings are crude, and colors so drab that the overall design appeal is severely lacking.

But for anyone that wants to get their hands on a playing day Ruth, Cobb, or Tris Speaker, the W512 set offers one of the most affordable ways to do so.  Let's take a closer look at the biggies in the set:

W512 Babe Ruth #6


This Ruth card was issued right around the prime of his career, and for any collectors seeking a more affordable Ruth card this is a great choice.

Sure, it's not the prettiest image, but I personally think the cartoon like feel of the drawing gives it a special appeal.

PSA has graded less than 200 copies and lower to mid grade copies can sometimes be found for less than $2000.

W512 Ty Cobb #3


Sure the Ruth card is crude, but the Cobb card is let's just say peculiar. Looking more like The Joker than one of the best hitters to play the game, it's definitely a little creepy looking. And not sure what's going on with the red lips, but it's something fairly common with some of the crudely drawn strip cards.

Still, it's Ty Cobb, and here we get 'The Georgia Peach" towards the tail end of his career, but still in prime hitting form. In 1925, at the age of 38, he batted .378, good for fourth in the league

It's fairly scarce (PSA has graded only ~130 copies) and it's affordable; raw copies can usually be found for less than $1000.

W512 Tris Speaker #4


While maybe not as horrible looking as the Cobb, the Speaker is still a crudely drawn example of the baseball great. 

At the time of issue, Speaker was about 38-39 years old and this card makes it look like he's about 70 years old.

When issued, Speaker was a player/manager for the Indians, and he was still on top his game, batting .389 during the 1925 season, good for second overall in the league, only behind Rogers Hornsby.

W512 Cards for Sale on eBay

1926-27 W512 Strip Card Betty Compson #12


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