1937 Four-on-One Exhibits and Checklist
‘It’s In The Details’
|Size||3 3/8″ x 5 3/8″
|Images||Blue/Gray or Green Ink|
|Number in Set
1937 Four-on-One Exhibit Set Overview
Eight different pre-war sets make up the W463 Exhibits issue. In addition to the pre-war era W463s (and the earlier W461s from 1921 through 1928), additional Exhibit card sets from the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s were also printed as well.
Exhibits are sometimes called postcards, although that isn’t really accurate since only some have postcard backings. Many Exhibit cards are blank-backed and some cards include a corner coupon printed on the back.
These are classified in the American Card Catalog as W-Cards, but they are not strip cards like other W-card issues.
Most Exhibits look fairly nice. However, almost all of the sets have plenty of typos and misspelled names. Players were also misidentified throughout the series.
Starting in 1929, Exhibit moved to a different design to feature four players on one card. All W463 classified cards have this same design with four players to a single card. Collectors should note that many of these cards have been cut up over the years. Thus, instead of having one large card with four pictures, they were left with four smaller individual cut ‘cards.’ That has also confused many collectors unfamiliar with W463s as to the origins of these new, smaller cut cards. While there is some value for these cut outs, the fully intact four-in-one cards, of course, are worth much more.
Specifically, the 1937 Exhibit card set features cards with either a blueish-gray ink color or a light green color against a white background. The blue-gray color is often referred to as a light blue but the cards typically look more like a pure black and white. The most distinguishing characteristic for the 1937 cards was that, for the second time, a small line of ‘PTD. IN U.S.A.’ was added to the bottom of each card. The last three years of the Four-on-One Exhibit cards (1936, 1937, and 1938) are the only ones in this series to include that type of text. The 1938 cards actually say ‘Made in U.S.A.’ instead.
Similar to the 1935 Goudey set, these cards do not merely contain random players. Instead, four players from the same team were used. Each of baseball’s 16 teams were featured on a card — this was a change from the first few years in this series when each team had two cards. All of the 1937 Exhibit cards have blank backs.
These cards included the name and team/league of the player pictured. As with past Exhibit sets, a dark ink was used when the print was over top of a lighter background and a light ink was used when the background was darker. Formatting is varied with some players having their full first/last names printed and others only having initials of their first and or middle name printed.
Cards do not include card numbers. All of the cards have a vertical layout. Many of the same players and pictures were kept in this set from earlier issues.
The Yankees also continued their tradition of having a card with four Hall of Famers on it. Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, and Tony Lazzeri were joined by fellow Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio, who replaced Red Ruffing from the 1936 card.
DiMaggio was one big addition to the 1937 set — the other being fellow second-year player, Bob Feller of the Indians.
The Yankees weren’t the only ones keeping with tradition in this set. For the third straight time, the Tigers card used the same four players – Mickey Cochrane, Goose Goslin, Charlie Gehringer, and Schoolboy Rowe. Unlike in 1936, though, they were not the only team to have a card that did not change in terms of players featured. The Boston Red Sox card featuring Joe Cronin, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, and Rick Ferrell was a repeat of the 1936 Red Sox card. Additionally, the Red Sox were the only other team besides the Yankees to picture four Hall of Famers.
A final notable card is that of the Boston Braves. That card featured Hall of Famer Al Lopez, who was featured in earlier sets with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Lopez was misidentified on all of his prior Four-on-One Exhibit cards as ‘Vincent’ Lopez but is correctly identified here as Alfonso (his full first name).
1937 Four-on-One Exhibit Set Checklist
Below, I have arranged the checklist by team with the players featured on each card.
- Athletics – Johnson, Kelly, Moses, Weber
- Braves – Berger, Lopez, Macfayden, Urbanski
- Browns – Clift, Hemsley, Hildebrand, West
- Cardinals – Dean, Martin, Medwick, Warneke
- Cubs – Galan, Hartnett, Herman, Lee
- Dodgers – English, Moore, Mungo, Phelps
- Giants – Hubbell, Leslie, Mancuso, Ott
- Indians – Averill, Feller, Pytlak, Trosky
- Phillies – Camilli, Moore, Walters, Whitney
- Pirates – Blanton, Suhr, Vaughan, P. Waner
- Red Sox – Cronin, Ferrell, Foxx, Grove
- Reds – Derringer, Lombardi, Riggs, Weintraub
- Senators – Kuhel, Myer, Newsom, Stone
- Tigers – Cochrane, Gehringer, Goslin, Rowe
- White Sox – Appling, Bonura, Dykes, Kennedy
- Yankees – DiMaggio, Gehrig, Gomez, Lazzeri
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