1921 W521 Strip Card Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title W521 Strip
Year 1921
Size 1 1/2″ x 2 7/16″
Images Color
Type Strip
Number in Set

W521 Strip Card Overview

W521 Frankie Frisch Strip Card (1921)The 1921 W521 strip card set includes a total of 20 cards. The cards are basic strip cards with colored player images and names on the front with blank backs.

Most interesting is that the set is practically the same as the W519-1 issue. It features the same exact players and same exact card numbers. The only difference is that the pictures are reversed. For that reason, it is often difficult for collectors to distinguish between the two series. These cards are rarer than the W519s, though, and command a little more money.

The other primary difference, aside from the fact that the pictures are backwards, is that only one issue makes up the W521 set. W519 included three similar, but slightly different subsets.

While strange, it turns out there is actually an interesting coincidence as to why the cards were printed backwards that has to do with the printer.

Decalco Lithographic Company

w521 Marquard DecalcoWhile the end users for these cards are not known, they appear to be the work of the Decalco Litho Company. We know that because their name is seen on the edge of some W519 and W521 strip cards. It likely was printed at the edge of a sheet and thus made its way onto the borders of some of the cards.

That company was a printer based in Hoboken, New Jersey. This page states that the company was actually born as the American Transfer Pictures and Printing Company in 1908. The company printed ‘toy goods’ and transfers, and was incorporated in 1918 under the Decalco Litho Company name.

That last part about the company printing transfers makes plenty of sense with regards to the baseball cards they printed. As stated, Decalco printed both the W519 and W521 strip cards. The W521s are simply W519 cards with reverse images. You know – kind of like the ones that would be used when creating transfers.

In terms of the W521 card, the Decalco name is often seen on cards of Hall of Famer Rube Marquard, leading us to believe that his was a card printed at the left edge of a sheet.

Here’s a closer look at DeCalco and the cards.

W521 Strip Card Checklist

  1. Guy Morton
  2. Rube Marquard
  3. Gabby Cravath
  4. Ernie Kreuger
  5. Babe Ruth
  6. George Sisler
  7. Rube Benton
  8. Jimmie Johnston
  9. Wilbur Robinson
  10. Johnny Griffith
  11. Home Run Baker
  12. Bob Veach
  13. Jesse Barnes
  14. Leon Cadore
  15. Ray Schalk
  16. Kid Gleason
  17. Joe Murphy
  18. Frankie Frisch
  19. Eddie Collins
  20. Wally Schang

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