Strip card sets are already seen as a great budget option. Those sets are typically where you will find some of a player’s most affordable pre-war cards. But here are five cards of big time players in particular that are cheaper than you might thnk.
Jimmie Foxx W560
This card is considered by many to be a rookie issue of Foxx. The Hall of Famer does possibly have an earlier Exhibit card but those were released over a number of years from sometime around 1925 through 1931. Dating on the set is within that window but exact dates aren’t entirely known. Foxx did play as early as 1925 but didn’t see significant action until 1927 and that’s when this Foxx card was printed.
Whatever the case regarding the rookie card debate, this is one of Foxx’s absolute earliest cards. These W560 strip cards had a playing card design and you can find Foxx on Joker cards in the set. If this was a gum issue, finding a mid-grade card would probably run over $1,000. But some decent copies of this card have sold in the $100-$200 range, which seems like a steal for a possible rookie issue of one of the greatest players of all time.
Hack Wilson W513
The W513 strip card set was a continuation of the W512 set issued from 1925-27. W513 cards were printed in 1928 and several baseball players are included in the 50-card set.
One of the top stars in the issue is Hack Wilson. He had established himself as one of the top power hitters in the game at the time, leading the league in home runs for three consecutive years from 1926-28. Decent Wilson cards aren’t too expensive, usually starting around $50.
Ty Cobb W516 Strip Card
Cobb and ‘bargain’ don’t typically go together too much but one of Cobb’s more affordable cards is predictably a strip issue. Cobb has several cards in the W516 series, which includes a total of five sets.
The cards aren’t cheap, don’t get me wrong. But they are more affordable than just about all of his tobacco and caramel card issues. A decent example recently sold for about $350 and you can usually find them on eBay.
Christy Mathewson W514 Strip Card
Christy Mathewson’s career ended in 1916 before many strip issues were printed but he does appear in the W514 strip cards set, despite the fact that it was distributed after his career was over. The W514 set is known for its inclusion of many players from the 1919 Chicago Black Sox team. But it’s also full of other legendary players, including Matty, who is one of the greatest pitchers of all time.
Mathewson’s card isn’t entirely without cost. However, starting around $150 or so, it’s also a lot cheaper than many of his cards.
Babe Ruth W512 Strip Card
The 50-card 1925-27 W512 strip card set includes only ten baseball players in it. But with big names such as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, it can be a little expensive. Strip cards generally don’t have great pictures and this one of Ruth is no exception as it’s a pretty crude image.
Like others on this list, you can’t expect to have this Ruth card for a few bucks. But it’s absolutely one of his more affordable cards, starting at around $500, sometimes even less. When it comes to contemporary Babe Ruth issues, it’s certainly one of his more inexpensive cards.