1928 W565 Strip Card Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title W565 Strip
Year 1928
Size 1 1/4″ x 2 1/8″
Images Color Tint / Black and White
Type Strip
Number in Set

W565 Strip Card Overview

W565 Singer BoxingW565 3 Lazzeri.jpgThe 1928 W565 strip card set contains a variety of sports and non-sports subjects but only four baseball players (Lou Gehrig, Harry Heilman, Tony Lazzeri, and Al Simmons). No other players from the four major sports exist but there are five boxers found in the set as well, providing for a total of nine athletes. A tenth is Reginald Denny — more on that in a bit. Actors and actresses lead the non-sports personalities with Charlie Chaplin being one of the key actors featured.

Fronts include player images and the backs of the cards are blank and, uniquely, are blue in color. The fronts also list the players’ names and, where applicable, team. All cards were printed in red ink or black ink against a light background. The cards are quite small — smaller than even your standard strip cards, measuring only a little larger than 1″ x 2″.

A couple of different designs are used for this set. Some included a non-background picture. Others, like the Tony Lazzeri card shown, included an athlete in an oval. The bulk of these utilized a playing card design like the W560 strip cards.

A total of two different sheets exist — one printed in black in and the other in red. The sheets contained a mixture of hearts and diamonds and two were black with a mix of clubs and spades. Interestingly, the baseball cards and some others do not have any kind of a suit or playing card design. Each sheet features 25 cards with five rows of five cards printed on each one for a total of 50 cards in the set.

Some references suggest there are 100 cards in this set but that is not likely accurate. Instead, I believe there are two W565 sets — this, more common, multi-sport set, and a second set consisting of only movie stars. A second set of black ink cards exists that shows only movie stars and the reason I would not classify those cards as part of this set is because some of the cards (the suit and card number) overlap with different subjects.

While the cards are classified today as W565, that is not an American Card Catalog classification and was assigned at some point after Jefferson Burdick’s book. All in all, this isn’t a very attractive issue. The pictures aren’t great and neither is the typed print at the bottom.

Finally, the backs of these cards are not only blank but have a dark blue color. While strip cards from the same set have sometimes been printed on different types of stock, non-blue backs should be considered as possibly forgeries. And while most of the cards in this set will not be faked, the more valuable baseball cards, particularly Gehrig’s, could be.

Uncut Sheets

W565 Uncut SheetLike other strip card sets, there are uncut sheets of these cards still around today. In fact, the W565 strip cards are probably one of the sets where uncut sheets are a bit more common.

These cards were not printed in long uncut strips as some sets were. Instead, as stated, these were printed in two sheets (a red sheet and a black sheet) with 25 card per sheet. The sheets have a good size border around the edges, which is important as they can suffer some damage to the edges without the cards themselves being harmed.

Both sheets have some value as collectors often use paper cutters to cut the cards as close to perfect as possible and then submit them for grading. The number of uncut sheets in existence is certainly a good reason why man W565 strip cards are found in excellent condition. If you encounter a high-grade card from this set, chances are high that it was cut in recent years as opposed to being hand cut at the time they were originally distributed.

While both sheets are desirable, the red sheet is the more valuable one as that is the one that contains the card of Lou Gehrig, which is the most expensive card in the set. That sheet also includes Hall of Fame baseball players Tony Lazzeri and Al Simmons.

The black sheet, however, has its share of quality cards including several boxers, Hall of Fame baseball player Harry Heilmann, famous actor Charlie Chaplin, and one important card for Disney character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

A Unique Inclusion and a Disney Connection

W565 Oswald the Lucky RabbitIn addition to the athletes and the non-sports personalities, there’s also one rather unique addition found in the set as well.

A card was printed for cartoon character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, another cartoonist, and was featured in cartoons in the 1920s and 1930s.

Ironically, Oswald was one of the reasons for the creation of a more famous figure. After Oswald’s rights were claimed by Universal Studios, Iwerks created a competing character for Disney – Mickey Mouse.

Here’s more on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit card.

A 10th ‘Athlete’

Reginald Denny W565 Strip CardWhile there are technically nine athletes recognized in this set, a tenth can be included due to a technicality.

Actor Reginald Denny is in the set and his caption on the card reads, “Universal Star.” It is clear that he is here because he is a movie star. However, Denny’s card could be considered as that of an athlete on two fronts.

First, he was an accomplished boxer and was actually an amateur champion in Great Britain. Second, he was also a skilled aviator and even served in World War I in the Royal Flying Corps. At the time of the production of this set, he was actually a stunt pilot and aviator cards in the pre-war era are generally viewed as sports issues.

Denny is actually pictured on his card as an aviator and can be considered a tenth ‘athlete’ in the set.

W565 Strip Card Checklist

  1. Richard Arlen
  2. George Arliss
  3. John Barrymore
  4. Una Basquette
  5. Wallace Beery
  6. Sally Blane
  7. Monte Blue
  8. Mary Brian
  9. Betty Bronson
  10. Eddie Cantor
  11. Lon Chaney
  12. Charlie Chaplin
  13. Ina Claire
  14. Jackie Coogan
  15. Gary Cooper
  16. Dolores Costello
  17. Marcelene Day
  18. Reginald Denny (Aviator)
  19. Lou Gehrig (Baseball)
  20. John Gilbert
  21. Andy Gump
  22. Harry Heilmann (Baseball)
  23. Jean Hershult
  24. Doris Hill
  25. Ace Hudkins (Boxing)
  26. Emil Jannings
  27. Al Jolson
  28. Barbara Kent
  29. Norman Kerry
  30. Laura La Plante
  31. Tony Lazzeri (Baseball)
  32. Benny Leonard (Boxing)
  33. Ted Lewis
  34. Dorothy Mackaill
  35. Arlette Marchal
  36. Colleen Moore
  37. Mae Murray
  38. Pola Negri
  39. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
  40. Charles Puffy
  41. Donald Reed
  42. Benny Rubin
  43. Izzy Schwartz (Boxing)
  44. George Sidney
  45. Al Simmons (Baseball)
  46. Al Singer (Boxing)
  47. Young Stribling (Boxing)
  48. Glenn Tryon
  49. Florence Vidor
  50. Alice White

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