The 1939-46 Salutations Exhibits set was produced over nearly the span of a decade. The set really mixes two eras as it began in the pre-war time period and was in the post-war era by the time it concluded. Here’s a closer look at the set.
1939-46 Salutations Exhibits Basics
The set was recognized in Jefferson Burdick’s American Card Catalog but you might have a little trouble finding it if you’re unfamiliar with it. Burdick cataloged this, as he did other Exhibit issues, as a W-Card and you’ll find it listed as W462. The W-Card designation was typically reserved for strip cards but used for Exhibits as well.
These postcard-sized cards featured sepia images of baseball players on the fronts and blank backs. They are called the Salutations set due to the numerous greetings found on the front along with the player name. These greetings include a variety of statements, such as Cordially Yours, Yours Truly, and Sincerely Yours, among others.
The cards measure 3 5/16″ wide and 5 5/16″ tall and were printed vertically.
While 83 cards are often cited in the checklist, a total of 88 different ones are actually known. That’s because a few slight variances between photos are known that aren’t typically checklisted as unique cards.
As the set was produced over numerous years, it includes a large number of stars just as you would expect. The keys to the set include Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio but there’s plenty more here, too.
Also found in the set are Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Dizzie Dean, Bob Feller, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove, Ernie Lombardi, Mel Ott, and more.
While the cards may be inexpensive, there are numerous tough finds in it that make completing a set somewhat difficult. It’s not just the stars, either. Many seemingly common cards, such as those for Johnny Rizzo, Mike Kreevich, and lower tier Hall of Famer Chuck Klein are all seen as single prints and tough to find.
The set’s distinguishing feature aside from the salutations is probably the fact that numerous variations are known.
A total of only 63 different players are included but there are another 25 cards if you count all of the variations and several types exist. Most of the variations are pretty, minor.
Some have the ‘Made in U.S.A.’ portion in different corners of the cards. Others have players with different salutation greetings. Others, as stated earlier, have slight photo cropping differences. Finally, others have team changes or different poses or names/nicknames.
One great thing about the 1939-46 Salutations set is that the cards are extremely affordable. Commons can be found for under $10 and most stars are under $20. Even most the biggest cards in the set, such as DiMaggio and Williams are typically under $100. The Gehrig is the most expensive with decent copies starting around $1,000.