The 1926-27 W512 release was your typical strip card set. Low-quality paper, uninspiring artwork, and a modest design all made this issue a mostly lackluster one. If you can move beyond the aesthetics, though, the set included plenty of star power in terms of big name baseball players.
W512 Strip Card Basics
The cards featured basic color cartoon drawings of a player inside of a rectangular thin black border. The player’s name and team were at the bottom and a card number appeared in a corner. The images weren’t necessarily ugly judging them by strip card standards but they also aren’t the reason the set is really collected, either. Backs of the cards were entirely blank and the cards are believed to have been printed in the mid-1920s.
The cards vary in size due to how they were cut by the vendor distributing them but they measure at approximately 1 1/2″ wide x 2 1/4″ tall.
While the entire set boasts 50 cards, collectors should be aware there are only ten baseball cards in the issue. That isn’t necessarily a reason to not pursue it, but it is notable. The rest of the set is comprised of other athletes and non-sports figures, such as actors and actresses.
While containing only ten baseball players, however, it’s who is included that makes this set desirable. Eight of the ten players were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and the set contains many big names from the era. Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb are arguably the two biggest names of the era and they lead the way in this set. There’s the legendary Tris Speaker and Rogers Hornsby. Also included are Cooperstown inductees Grover Alexander, Frankie Frisch, Dazzy Vance, and Dave Bancroft.
Even the two players that didn’t make the Hall of Fame weren’t exactly slouches. Defensive wizard Everett Scott is included as a ninth baseball player. He played 13 years in the league, primarily with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Scott was one of the top defensive shortstops of his era (he led the league’s shortstops in fielding percentage eight times) and helped his teams to four World Series championships. 11-year veteran Glenn Wright rounds out the baseball players. He, too, was a strong defensive player, leading the league in Defensive WAR in two different seasons. Wright was also a strong hitter with a .294 career batting average.
Baseball is definitely the focal point of the set but it’s worth pointing out that a few other notable athletes exist as well. Several key boxers are here, including Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, and George Carpentier. 11-time golf major winner (behind only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods) Walter Hagen is included in the set. Tennis greats Bill Tilden and Helen Willis are also featured.
W512 Strip Card Values
One of the great things about strip cards is their overall affordability compared to tobacco and candy cards from the era. W512 cards are no exception in that regard. Baseball commons in decent shape can be found in the $10-$20 range. Other commons are even cheaper in most cases. While stars are more, even those are reasonable with most not exceeding $50.
Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb are the two big cards here and run into triple figures. The only SGC 96 Ruth sold for $1,540 in a 2014 auction but significantly more affordable copies of both Ruth and Cobb exist. While still somewhat expensive, the Ruth card is still priced moderately compared to other cards from his playing career. The same can be said of the Ty Cobb issue.
You can see several dozen W512 cards on eBay by clicking here.