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  #1  
Old 11-15-2006, 07:18 AM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Hi All:

I'm hoping that you guys can help me figure something out.

I've been slowly working on a 1928 W502 set over the last few months. These cards don't come around very often; it seems like everybody has one or two, but except for one friend I have yet to meet anyone who has a significant accumulation of these. So it's been a slow slog, getting through the set. Right now I have about 15 of the 62 cards.

One thing I'm finding is that there's a bit of a mystery about the backs. Perhaps it's because I haven't spoken with the right person yet, but nobody seems to be able to shed any light on the many variations - so I figured I would do it myself.

From what I can see, there may be as many as 18 different back variations of these cards - which is interesting to me, since there seems to be so little interest in these and so little history about how and where they were distributed.

I'm hoping that you folks could chip in and help me out, by checking out any W502s you may have, and then posting in this thread what you see on the back. What I'm looking for is this:

1) Player name and card number
2) What's printed specifically on the back (i.e. "ONE BAGGER - Hold What You Got", "ONE BAGGER", "THREE BAGGER", "HOME RUN", blank back, etc.)
3) What direction the printing is oriented - on some cards, when you flip it over, the printing goes left to right from the bottom to the top of the card. On others, the printing goes from the top to the bottom.

I'm hoping to get an understanding of what cards are out there, what all the different variations are, and if there is any relationship between the player and what's printed on the back.

Feel free to share f/b scans if you like.

Thank you in advance for your help - I'll be sure to publish what I find right here.

Regards,
-Al

Edited for clarity

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  #2  
Old 11-15-2006, 08:21 AM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: CLAUDE

Just got 12 back from SGC last week....all have blank backs. Also had a Ruth & Gehrig a few months ago that were also blank backs. I can post scans when I get home tonite.

-Claude

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  #3  
Old 11-15-2006, 08:26 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Gilbert Maines

#13 Rogers Hornsby

Back top to bottom:
ONE BAGGER
Hold What You Got

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  #4  
Old 11-15-2006, 08:43 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: cmoking

Ruth
back: one bagger
it reads bottom to top

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  #5  
Old 11-15-2006, 10:03 PM
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Posted By: Brian

Very nice Ruth....if you ever want to part with it, please let me know!

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  #6  
Old 11-15-2006, 10:24 PM
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Posted By: CLAUDE

Ruth & Gehrig.....blank backs.

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  #7  
Old 11-16-2006, 06:10 AM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Thanks, guys. I appreciate your help.

Please keep 'em coming! I know there's got to be more W502s out there than just these!

-Al

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  #8  
Old 11-16-2006, 12:54 PM
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Posted By: cmoking

Al, do you know how the W502 were issued? Were they issued with some product. I think most or maybe all (except the Ruth maybe) has the same image as the 1928 Ice Cream cards - Yuengling, Tharps, Harrington.

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  #9  
Old 11-16-2006, 07:58 PM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

I have no idea, King. I don't think anybody does.

My suspicion, based on the fact that the redemption cards are for prizes like candy, baseballs, etc., that they were issued by a store. Perhaps they were a generic promotion to be used by multiple stores. It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.

I haven't seen all the cards yet, so I can't tell you if the poses are identical to the 1928 ice cream issues (I haven't seen all the ice cream issues either).

I'd love to be able to learn some more detail about the backs, though, it would be awesome if some other 54 members would be willing to chip in some info about their own W502s so that we could all learn something about a set that nobody seems to fully understand. I know the cards are out there; it seems like every prewar collector has one or two.

-Al

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  #10  
Old 11-16-2006, 09:12 PM
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Posted By: Paul

I've got five of them, & I'll post the requested back info this Saturday or Sunday.

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  #11  
Old 11-17-2006, 03:24 PM
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Posted By: Paul

Here's my five:

(6)Ruth- ONE BAGGER
Hold What You Got

(48)Smith- ONE BAGGER
Hold What You Got

(28)Speaker- ONE BAGGER


(58)Bell- blank back


(40)Kamm- blank back


All back writing is from bottom to top.

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  #12  
Old 11-17-2006, 04:22 PM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Thanks, Paul.

So far, based on what people are emailing me, I've got a lot more blank backs than anything else. I wonder if perhaps the blank backs aren't really W502s? If the cards were meant to be a game, what would be the purpose of blank backs? And what would be the purpose of varying the backs, so that one player has a card with a blank back or a "One Bagger," for instance?

Curious.

Anyone have any more? There have got to be more.

-Al

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  #13  
Old 11-17-2006, 04:52 PM
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Posted By: Todd Schultz

I cannot find my ACC. Maybe someone could look up the w502 description to see if there is mention of any printing on the back. It would be nice to know the cuts, also. Frankly, I don't recall ever seeing a hack job cut on a w502, unlike the cartoonish looking strip cards. Are they truly hand cut, or possibly machine cut? If the latter, why not call them blank-backed Tharp or Sweetman?

These may end up being not much different in distribution or marketing than the m101-4s that sprang from Mendelsohn. Although those were definitely printed on a sheet and these may or may not have been printed in strips, the concept of starting with a blank set and allowing advertisers to add their own printing may be the same.

Edited to remove incorrect reference to some of the Ice Cream sets, which have a different caption/nameplate.

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  #14  
Old 11-18-2006, 07:22 AM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

I agree, Todd, I definitely do not think these were hand cut. PSA labels them that way, SGC does not. I've never seen one with a funky cut, I've never seen one hacked away with a jack knife (like you see with a lot of strip cards), and they're all pretty much the same size.

As far as the backs are concerned, I do not think they're stamped. The ink is always applied evenly, unlike most stamped cards where there's usually an area where ink coverage is lighter. Also, the back printing is straight, where a hand stamp is often crooked.

I definitely think these were printed on sheets and machine cut.

What's odd to me is that the backs print in two different directions. It's as if some of the sheets were printed upside down - except if that were the case, the printing would appear in different areas on the card, and from what little data I've been able to gather, it seems like the printing usually appears in the same place.

So far nobody has told me about any prize backs they own, and nobody has told me about any "Three bagger" or "Home Run" backs. I have one "Three Bagger" back.

Although I still don't have enough data to get a feel for scarcity or any other anomalies, right now it appears that there are more blank backs than not. This surprises me.

Any more out there?

-Al

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  #15  
Old 11-18-2006, 07:54 AM
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Posted By: David Smith

My meager contribution.

About 10 years ago, when I was heavily into beating the bushes for old cards, I found a group of 15 to 20 W502s, including Ruth and Gehrig. The original owner's Grandson had them in a little box.

The cards did not look hand cut to me and the printing was even, so I did not consider them a strip card. All the backs had either "Home Run", One Bagger", or the like on them but I do not remember what direction the words were written.

The guy had no clue what they were and said "$400" when I asked how much he wanted for them. I was ready to buy them but a friend of his (these guys were all 19 or 20 years old) said he would pay $400 just for the Ruth and Gehrig. I told him to think it over and I would be back in an hour because I had also found some B18 blankets to look at in the same small town.

I bought the blankets (nothing major) and returned to talk about the W502's but the guy was gone. I called a few times but the guy said he really didn't want to sell. I guess his friends got in his ear and convinced him the cards had to be worth more if I were willing to pay $400 right then and there.

I knew the cards weren't worth a whole lot more than what I offered because the guys Grandfather had written the team name on the backs in pencil plus the damage from handling over the years. I wanted the cards because of the Ruth and Gehrig plus there were a few other Hall of Famers.

Maybe I will pay a visit to that same small town and see if the cards are still around....

David

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  #16  
Old 11-20-2006, 11:23 AM
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Posted By: Gilbert Maines

So what do we have here with the w502s? Two board members with a dozen or so examples represent 80% of the Net54 holdings in this set?

Just how uncommon are these cards? And what is their origin, distribution method; and what is their relationship with:

York Caramel Co.
Anonymous blank back
Harrington's Ice Cream
Sweetman Co. Inc.
Tharp's Ice Cream
Yuengling's Ice Cream

What do these cards currently sell for?

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  #17  
Old 11-20-2006, 12:46 PM
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Posted By: Anonymous

Google searches for "yuengling ice cream" and "tharp's ice cream" give websites for the Yuengling Brewery of Pottsville, PA which in the 1920s opened a dairy and sold ice cream, and a website for a company named Tharp's Food Technology which states that the founder's family sold Tharp's Ice Cream in the '20s. According to Old Cardboard, Yuengling Ice Cream cards were issued in Pottsville, PA, so this is likely the same Yuengling. Maybe someone at one of these companies can help?

http://www.brucetharp.com/about.htm
http://www.beerhistory.com/library/holdings/yuengling.shtml
http://www.yuengling.com/faq.htm

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  #18  
Old 11-20-2006, 05:45 PM
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Posted By: Gilbert Maines

Well Al, if I have counted right, so far we have five game backs reported. Hornsby, Ruth, Ruth, Smith, Speaker. However, so far you have yet to identify the 15 cards which you are in possession of. Please describe these, while we await the motherlode to arrive.

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  #19  
Old 11-20-2006, 06:12 PM
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Posted By: bill

here's mine

#49 Leon Goose Goslin one bagger bottom to top
#57 Stanley Coveleskie one bagger bottom to top
#22 Harry Heilmann blank back
*8 Herb Pennock sweetman
#35 Joe Judge blank back (not white but more card stock color)

my 2 one baggers are both hold what you got

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  #20  
Old 11-20-2006, 07:12 PM
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Posted By: jeff drum

Al,

Here is what I have:

"One Bagger" Speaker, McGraw & Burns (bottom to top)
Blank Goslin, Dugan

Jeff

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  #21  
Old 11-20-2006, 08:38 PM
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Posted By: CLAUDE

I have the following all in blank-backs:
#13 Rogers Hornsby,
#18 Adolfo Luque,
#20 George Kelly
#23 Ray Schalk
#25 Hack Wilson
#28 Tris Speaker
#30 Waite Hoyt
#32 Max Carey
#34 Miguel Gonzales
#41 Stanley Harris
#44 Grover Alexander
#45 Paul Waner
#50 Frank Frisch

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  #22  
Old 11-20-2006, 09:58 PM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Thanks, guys, and thanks, Gil for bumping this thread. I was starting to get a little discouraged with the lack of response.

I'm away on business but will list the ones I have (more than 15 now). Most of mine are game backs.

As for the ice cream companies, David Vargha wrote an excellent piece on these cards for an issue of SGC Collector a while back. During that time, I was in touch with the marketing people at Yuengling, and they know nothing about the cards, unfortunately.

-Al

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  #23  
Old 11-21-2006, 10:46 AM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Just for the record, the tally so far:

ONE BAGGER (Bottom to top): 8
ONE BAGGER, Hold What You Got (Bottom to top): 4
ONE BAGGER, Hold What You Got (Top to bottom): 1
BLANK BACK: 21

I'll add mine to the list when I get home this afternoon. However, there are a LOT of back variations missing from this list, and there haven't been enough responses yet to draw any type of conclusions.

-Al

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  #24  
Old 11-21-2006, 08:06 PM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Okay, here's some new data that includes my cards:

TOTAL NUMBER OF CARDS LOGGED: 51

"ONE BAGGER" (Bottom to top): 12
"ONE BAGGER - Hold What You Got" (Bottom to top): 7
"ONE BAGGER - Hold What You Got" (Top to bottom): 8
"THREE BAGGER" (Top to bottom): 1
BLANK BACK - 23

Total number of cards with multiple examples: 14
Total number of cards with different backs cataloged: 12

51 cards is, obviously, nowhere near enough cards to draw any conclusions. Anyone else got any W502s?

-Al

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  #25  
Old 11-21-2006, 08:55 PM
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Posted By: jeff drum

Just picked up two more on BST tonight (thanks Rhys). Same Jones and Earl Sheeley - both blank backs.

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  #26  
Old 11-22-2006, 04:52 PM
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Posted By: Gilbert Maines

E210s have a similar back printing characteristic. Some are printed top to bottom, while others are printed bottom to top.

Do we know that w502s are not a variation of E210s?

Do we know that blank backs of this type are affiliated with w502s and not the ice cream issues nor the E210?

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  #27  
Old 11-23-2006, 07:00 AM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Gil:

I think it's a reasonable deduction to think that the W502s are closely related to the E210s as well as all the different F50 issues. They all look the same, and they all have similar checklists.

The W502 checklist seems to be a combination of the checklists of the E210 type 1 and 2. The W502 checklist has 60 cards plus two variations, and all but 12 of them are identically numbered to the E210 Type 1 set. The Type 2 checklist resembles the W502s even more closely.

Add this to the mystery: up until this morning I had never seen a 1931 W502. Thanks to .20 listing day, there is a big grouping of them listen on eBay this morning - all have "One Bagger - Hold What You Got" backs, and some of the backs face right, and some face left. Same back printing characteristic as the 1928 W502s and the E210s.

At least in the case of the Tony Lazzeri, the image is the same on the 1928 and 31 W502s.

I'm beginning to think that, in order to figure this out, I've almost got to examine the W502s, E210s, and F50s together. I'll bet they were all manufactured by the same company between 1927 and 1931. The differences in the checklists are subtle, but they're there.

I'm also beginning to wonder if the blank-backed W502s are W502s at all, and not some other issue that is, as of yet, uncatalogued (to my knowledge - I guess I really should buy a catalogue). I mean, if it's got a Yuengling's back we call it a Yuengling's. If it's got a York Caramel back we call it a York Caramel. If it's got a Tharp's back we call it a Tharp's. If it's got a "One Bagger" back we call it a W502. If it's got a blank back, and the checklists are virtually all the same, how do we know it's from the same set as the other W502s? Why don't we call it a blank-backed Yuengling's?

Either way, I'm having a lot of fun piecing together information about these. Keep it coming, I promise I'll share it with everyone!

-Al

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  #28  
Old 11-23-2006, 03:40 PM
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Posted By: Brad Green


This is what I have. It's cataloged as a 1931 W-Unc Strip Card. It is blank-backed and looks just like the W502's.


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  #29  
Old 11-23-2006, 03:55 PM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Now THAT's interesting.

The #14 card in the 1931 W502 set is indeed Lefty Grove. From what I can tell by PSA and SGC's pop reports, both companies classify the 1931 W502s as "1931 W-Uncatalogued strip cards." SGC has graded 28, PSA has graded 3. I have no idea if these are scarce or not.

What's interesting is that they're classified this way, as blank-backed uncatalogued cards. Why not classify the blank-backed 1928 W502s the same way?

Does anyone have any insight into the history of how these two sets (the 1928 and 1931) both became classified as W502s, and how they came to be that way? Were the blank-backed 1928s always lumped in with them?

-Al

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  #30  
Old 11-25-2006, 08:45 AM
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Posted By: Bill Todd


Here's what I have:

#35 Judge ONE BAGGER/Hold what you got (reads top to bottom)
#41 Harris ONE BAGGER/Hold what you got (reads top to bottom)

Bill

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  #31  
Old 11-25-2006, 09:17 AM
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Posted By: Gilbert Maines

As far as this part of your question, Al, "Were the blank-backed 1928s always lumped in with them?", Burdick made this choice. And my read of the 1960 ACC is that some poses and players are different between e210 and w502. Card numbers 2, 4, 6, 7, 11, 16 etc. are cited. Also card nos. 25, 31, 45, 46, 55 & 59 are listed as errors.

The '75 SCB specifies relating to e210: #12 is G.J. Burns, not G.H. Burns; #25 is Art Wilson, not Hack Wilson; #31 photo is Jack Coomb, not Sherwood Smith; and other similar errors.

Different errors are cited for w502 with no breakout of game back differing from blank back. The presumption is that they are identical. But that remains to be seen.

I haven't reread Lipsett's Encyclopedia on this, nor any more recent investigations on ice cream or related material. But this is not my pit of vipers, and I ain't going in there. I got enuff problems - and insufficient armor for this battle.

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  #32  
Old 12-01-2006, 07:19 AM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Bump.

Hey, anybody want to talk about baseball cards?

-Al

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  #33  
Old 01-01-2007, 09:40 AM
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Posted By: Parmentier

Tough to classify the w502's - no company brand printing. But I do feel confident they are NOT hand-cut strip cards, as PSA claims. All the ones I see are nicely cut with even edges and 90 degree corners - not even close to those cartoonish colorized true strip cards. I had a Tris Speaker blank back, a Ty Cobb one-bagger, just picked up a Rogers Hornsby with back game writing. My guess is they were regionally issued as a card game, the blank backs being "outs" (could exlain why there are more of them, usually more outs than hits) or could be a different issue altogether. Regardless, the "w" strip card designation is probably wrong as these are not hand cut strip cards.

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  #34  
Old 01-09-2007, 03:22 PM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Just thought I'd bump this thread again, since it has something to do with cards, and since it's a project I'm still hoping to work on.

I'm really interested in your input...

-Al

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  #35  
Old 02-28-2007, 11:59 AM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

I bump this thread once in a while just to keep it visible among the sea of grading vs. raw vs. PSA vs. SGC vs. punk vs. classic rock vs. dinner vs. trimming threads. If anybody has any more info or any new cards they can tell me about, that would be a huge help.

So, bump.

-Al

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  #36  
Old 02-28-2007, 12:57 PM
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Posted By: steve

Al, just back from PSA, much tougher than the 1928's. Back reads, "ONE BAGGER", second line, "Hold What You Got". Could all the Tharp's, Yuenglings, W502's come from one manufacturer, issued in sheets, and distributed to companies wanting cards with their products?

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  #37  
Old 02-28-2007, 01:41 PM
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Posted By: Mark Lutz

AlC

I never paid much attention to the cards and assumed that mine were from the same set since they all say "One Bagger-- Hold What You Got" on the back. I also figued they were from the 1928 version since I know they include a Coveleskie, Kelly, Mostil, Judge, Cy Williams, and a Meusel. But I realize that I have a Lloyd Waner,so there is at least one 32. This means I'm going to have to take a closer look at the cards that could be from either year: cards like Earl Smith, Traynor, and Paul Waner (who is a dead ringer for Pooch Barnhart). Did they use the same wrong photo for Paul Waner in 32 that they did in 28? I will have to get back to you about the front/ back orientation. But please post the result of your research. Mark


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  #38  
Old 03-01-2007, 10:23 PM
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Posted By: Darren

I have 3 1928 w502's
SGC 80 Roush #53 ONE BAGGER/Hold What You Got: top to bottom
SGC 60 Heilmann #22 ONE BAGGER/Hold What You Got: top to bottom
GAI 3 Rixey #16 ONE BAGGER:bottom to top

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  #39  
Old 03-02-2007, 12:04 AM
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Posted By: Andy

I'm enjoying this thread as more people participate in it. I have a couple of questions for all of you.

1. How does one tell the 1928's from the 1931's without using the checklist? Someone must have been able to distiquish between the two in order to checklist them in the first place. I just haven't seen enough examples to really get a feel for the difference yet.

2. In the Grove example above, there is a thin black border surrounding the image that is separated from the image leaving a thin white space between the image and the border. In the Hornsby example, the image continues all the way to the thin black border. Is this of any significance or just a printing issue. The Hornsby also seems to be a clearer image which makes me wonder if it is not the same issue (year) as the Grove, and therefore one of them is mislabeled. Of course, I'm probably way off, but I would like to hear your opinions.

Andy

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  #40  
Old 03-02-2007, 05:27 AM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

I'm holding a 1928 Red Faber and a 1931 Red Faber side by side, and there is absolutely nothing about either card that would distinguish one from the other, except for the number. Both cards use the exact same image. Both cards are the exact same size. Stock appears the same. There really appears to be no way to tell the difference just by looking.

The typeface between the two cards are very slightly different, but in looking through my remaining 1928s, I see that the typeface is subtly different on many of the cards - most notably in the spacing between the letters on individual cards.

It would probably be worth examining multiple examples of the same card from the same year to see if these subtle differences in typeface appear on multiple versions of the same card.

In looking at my other W502s, and I have a third of the set now, none of the ones that I have show that same funky border as the Lefty Grove posted above. So I'm not sure what that's all about.

Thanks for keeping this thread alive and contributing your back information!

-Al

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Old 04-25-2007, 10:17 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Here's a thread I started once, about baseball cards.

I hate to interrupt all the arguments and whatnot, but I like to bump this thread once in a while, in case someone hasn't seen it and can help me with this puzzle.

Thanks,

-Al

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  #42  
Old 04-27-2007, 08:52 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Ed Hans

I have #28 Mostil-One Bagger Hold What You Got-Bottom to Top.

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  #43  
Old 04-27-2007, 09:12 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Anonymous

I sold a W502 Ty Cobb blank back last weekend.

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  #44  
Old 04-27-2007, 09:29 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: boxingcardman

blank backed. What is it, exactly?



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  #45  
Old 08-26-2007, 10:53 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: cmoking

I picked these up at the National (all except the Home Run). They were from the Mastro near set and in GAI holders. I had them crossed to SGC, and they did!




Here's one of the fronts: the Three Bagger with redemption is Burleigh Grimes. Looking back, I should have asked SGC to label them with back descriptions, but I didn't think of that til now.



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  #46  
Old 08-28-2007, 08:37 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Jim Manos

I have a SGC 40 Ruth blank back. Hope this helps...

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  #47  
Old 08-28-2007, 09:42 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Zinn

Sheely

One Bagger Bottom to Top

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  #48  
Old 01-26-2008, 10:57 AM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Steve P.

Going through some old stuff and found 5 examples. 2 blank backs (35 - Judge, 39 - Falk), 2 one bagger, Hold what you got (11-Uhle, 16 - Rixey), and 1 that says "2 Two bagger Return to Storekeeper and Exchange for a Base Ball" (36 - Rice). I hadn't seen that one mentioned yet.

Steve p.

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  #49  
Old 01-26-2008, 12:44 PM
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Default W502 Back Mystery

Posted By: Brad Green


Steve:

I know someone that's looking for a 1931 W502 Rixey. If that's what you have and you want to sell it, shoot me an email and I'll get you in touch with the guy that would be interested.

Brad

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  #50  
Old 06-22-2009, 06:11 PM
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Thought I'd bump this since I'm getting back into the set. Just picked up five 1928 W502's from the B/S/T, but have no idea what the backs are yet. Will update when I have them in hand.
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