Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
  eNews Issue #162 (October 2017)

Please Note: If images are not loading in this email, click here.

Welcome to Old Cardboard, the most complete reference resource for information about collecting vintage baseball cards and related memorabilia.  More information about this eNewsletter and its companion website and magazine are found at the bottom of this page.

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. Set Profile: 1928 & 1931 W502 "Strip Cards"
3. Latest Additions to the Website

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar

The following is a summary of vintage card events coming up in the next 30-45 days. For the most current listings on additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Key Events Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

Have an event that needs to be on the OC Calendar?

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

October 2017

28Dallas, TX Heritage Auctions (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Robert Edward Auctions (see website for details).

November 2017

1Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
1Phone/Internet Hunt Auctions (see website for details).
4Phone/Internet Goldin Legends Auction (see website for details).
    (includes items donated for Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund)
4Phone/Internet Small Traditions Auctions (see website for details).
9Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
9Phone/Internet Goldin Live Auction (see website for details).
9Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. Auction (see website for details).
14-16Phone/Internet Hake's Americana & Collectibles Auction (incl. baseball; website).
16Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
16-18Dallas, TX Heritage Auctions (see website for details).
22Phone/Internet Hunt Auctions (see website for details).

2. Set Profile: 1928 & 1931 W502 "Strip Cards"

W502 Examples


Two obscure and loosely related vintage sets are generally identified in the hobby as the 1928 and 1931 W502 game back "strip card" issues. While knowledge of both of the sets continues to evolve, some details about each of them continue to baffle longtime vintage collectors.

Both are numbered sets with each set containing nominally sixty cards printed in black and white. The cards from both sets measure 1-3/8 by 2-1/2 inches. All cards are designed with white borders. The card number and player's first and last name is printed in all-caps block letters at the bottom.

The checklist for the 1928 series is essentially the same as several other sets produced that year that are perhaps better known to collectors. These include the four "ice cream" sets designated as "F50" in the American Card Catalog (i.e., Yuengling's, Harrington's, Tharp's and Sweetman), as well as the 1927-28 E210 York Caramel Type I issue.

Nineteen players from the 1928 W502 set are are replaced in the 1931 W502 series, mostly to update the checklist to include rising stars of the period. Thus, some of the new players in the 1931 set include now-Hall-of-Famers Mickey Cochrane, William (Bill) Dickey, Robert (Lefty) Grove, Al Simmons and Jimmy Foxx. Of the players common to both W502 sets, all but one (#25 Hack Wilson) are found with different card numbers in 1931.

Several of the variations found in the W502 backs. Some are also known with print orientation facing left (reading top to bottom rather than bottom to top).
Two key features that tie the two W502 sets together are the basic design on the card fronts and the "game back" messages printed on some of the backs. To be sure, most of the backs from both subsets are blank. However, some of the cards from both subsets are printed with one of four baseball plays (i.e., One Bagger, Two Bagger, Three Bagger and Home Run). In addition, what appears to be a redemption message (Hold What You Got, Return to Storekeeper and Exchange for a Sponge Base Ball, or Return to Storekeeper and Exchange for a Base Ball) appears on some variations.

Further variations in which orientation of the messages on the backs are printed facing either right or left are also known for both 1928 and 1931 W502s. In theory, this would result in more than two dozen combinations of these back variations. However, many of the combinations have not been confirmed (and likely will not be due to the extreme scarcity of the W502 printed backs).

A mystery remains regarding the manufacturer or distributor of the W502 cards. Further, no indication of the rules for the game intended using the backs has been found, nor have any further details of the redemption program.

While the W502s are classified as hand-cut "strip" cards in the ACC, they were much more likely printed on sheets and machine cut.

A Set Profile for the 1928 W502s is provided on the Old Cardboard website along with a 1928 W502 Checklist and a Group Cross-Checklist that compares the 1928 cards with their F50 and E210 counterparts. In addition, 1928 W502 Gallery of Cards and a 1931 W502 Checklist has been added to the website. A 1931 Set Profile will be added in early November.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

3. Latest Additions to the Website

We are continually expanding the Old Cardboard website with more set profiles, checklists and card galleries. Recent (past 30-40 days) additions include:

Set Checklists have been added for:
1931   W502   Game Back Strip Cards

Set Galleries have been added for:
1928   W502   Game Back Strip Cards

Updating the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage sets is an ongoing project, so check back often to check out the latest additions. There are now many thousands of card images on the website and the list continues to grow every month. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, images of cards missing from our galleries, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all feedback to

Beyond the above pages recently added to the Old Cardboard website, we continue to expand and refine our eBay Custom Search Links to make finding vintage baseball cards on eBay easier than ever. The results of these searches are continuously changing, so check back often to find the most recent eBay listings. Samples of a few of these custom searches are provided below. Hundreds more are provided on the Set Profile pages throughout the Old Cardboard website.

E91 American Caramel
E92 Nadja/Croft's/Dockman
E93 Standard Caramel
E94 George Close Candy
E95 Philadelphia Caramel
E96 Philadelphia Caramel

E120 Am. Caramel
E121 Am. Caramel
E122 Am. Caramel
E136/137 Zeenuts
E145 Cracker Jack
E254/270 Colgan's Chips

(more custom searches
by major card group)

Lyman and Brett Hardeman
Old Cardboard, LLC.

Old Cardboard, LLC. was established in December 2003, to help bring information on vintage baseball card collecting to the hobbyist.  Produced by collectors for collectors, this comprehensive resource consists of three components: (1) Old Cardboard Magazine, (2) a companion website at and (3) this eNewsletter. The Old Cardboard website contains more than 500 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced fifty years ago or longer.  Each of these set summaries has a direct set-specific link to auctions and a similar link to 's powerful search engine for further research.  The website also includes a Show and Auction Calendar, an eBay Top 50 Vintage Sellers List, and much more.  As a result, the Old Cardboard website makes a great "Alt-tab" companion for vintage card shoppers and researchers.  Old Cardboard eNews provides current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website and the magazine.  It is published around the middle of each month.  For a FREE subscription to the eNewsletter, or for subscription information on Old Cardboard Magazine, please visit the website at  If you find this information resource helpful, please tell your friends.  We need your support and your feedback. Thank you.