1928 Game Backs Strip Card Set (W502)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title W502 Game Backs Strip
Year 1928
Size 1 3/8″ x 2 1/2″
Images Black and White
Type Strip
Number in Set

W502 Game Backs Strip Overview

W502 Strip Card BackW502 Game Backs.jpgThe W502 set includes black and white player images on the fronts and either blank backs or backs with specific actions tied to some sort of a game.

The cards are similar in appearance to the F50 food issues but have different backs. The cards also correspond perfectly with the few 1928 Greiners Bread cards found to date and shares the same checklist and pictures as that issue.

Backs say things such ‘One Bagger,” “Two Bagger,” “Three Bagger,” and “Home Run.” The ‘bagger’ references are obviously baseball terms for single, double, and triple, respectively.

The set is big on stars with almost half of the cards depicting Hall of Famers. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Lou Gehrig lead the way here but there are more than 20 others enshrined in Cooperstown as well.

PSA has graded every card in the set, but only a few (or in some cases, one) of each.

Game or Contest?

While these are called the Game Backs set and are often believed to be part of a game, they appear to resemble something more of a contest.

We know that because in addition to the bagger and home run references, some of the cards also state that the holder is to return the card to a shopkeeper in exchange for a baseball.

It is possible that the cards not mentioning a prize were a sort of ‘Better Luck Next Time.’ Some phrases printed on others (like the one shown here) even loosely suggest that as they state, ‘Hold What You Got.’ But that still doesn’t explain the blank backs. Perhaps those were distributed by some other means entirely but the contest/game remains very much up in the air.

Rarity of the backs isn’t easily determined but I’ve generally seen fewer of the ones offering a baseball exchange for the card than I have of the cards with no such mention. That, of course, makes perfect sense given that the ones mentioning a prize were probably limited to begin with to avoid having to give so many away. Further, cards that were exchanged for a baseball likely were not returned and, I’m guessing, were discarded.

W502 Game Backs Strip Checklist

  1. Burleigh Grimes
  2. Walter Reuther
  3. Joe Dugan
  4. Red Faber
  5. Gabby Hartnett
  6. Babe Ruth
  7. Bob Meusel
  8. Herb Pennock
  9. George Burns
  10. Joe Sewell
  11. George Uhle
  12. Bob O’Farrell
  13. Rogers Hornsby
  14. Pie Traynor
  15. Clarence Mitchell
  16. Eppa Rixey
  17. Carl Mays
  18. Adolfo Luque
  19. Dave Bancroft
  20. George Kelly
  21. Earl Coombs
  22. Harry Heilmann
  23. Ray Schalk
  24. Johnny Mostil
  25. Hack Wilson
  26. Lou Gehrig
  27. Ty Cobb
  28. Tris Speaker
  29. Tony Lazzeri
  30. Waite Hoyt
  31. Sherwood Smith
  32. Max Carey
  33. Eugene Hargrave
  34. Miguel Gonzales
  35. Joe Judge
  36. Sam Rice
  37. Earl Sheely
  38. Sam Jones
  39. Bib Falk
  40. Willie Kamm
  41. Stanley Harris
  42. John McGraw
  43. Art Nehf
  44. Grover Alexander
  45. Paul Waner
  46. Bill Terry
  47. Glenn Wright
  48. Earl Smith
  49. Goose Goslin
  50. Frankie Frisch
  51. Joe Harris
  52. Fred Williams
  53. Edd Roush
  54. George Sisler
  55. Ed Rommel
  56. Roger Peckinpaugh
  57. Stan Coveleski
  58. Lester Bell
  59. Lloyd Waner
  60. John McInnis

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