Big Heads Strip Cards (W-UNC) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Big Heads Strip Cards
Year 1920s
Size 1 3/8″ x 2 1/2″
Images Color
Type Strip
Number in Set
30

Big Heads Strip Cards Overview

BH Johnston.jpg

Jack Dempsey Big Head W529 Strip CardThe Big Heads strip card set is an unclassified issue featuring colored images of players with larger-sized heads on the front. Backs of the cards in this issue are blank. There are 20 known baseball players and ten boxers.

The only words printed on the cards are the player’s names, which appear on the front. Some of the cards have the player’s first and last name while others have only last names.

It’s not just the heads that make the players look odd. The players’ bodies, in general, are just large and bulked up. Most of the players on the cards look closer to football players than they do baseball players.

The set is largely a mystery. It isn’t completely known who produced the cards or even when it was printed. However, as similar boxing cards are known on an uncut sheet from the International Feature Service (IFS), they are likely an IFS issue.

You can see pictures of all of the baseball cards here.

Johnson and Johns(t)on

Collectors should be aware that one of the cards is a star card that can be missed. One card has the player identified as ‘Johnston’ (pictured). In actuality, the card is almost certainly Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson. That is evident because the player is wearing a Washington Nationals uniform but no player named ‘Johnston’ was on the team at the same time period these cards were issued.

One player, Ed Johnson, was present on the 1920 team. But the card is not likely his for a few reasons.

First, Johnson was a little-known player who appeared in only four games in 1920. Those would be the only games in his major league career. In addition, the picture seems to depict a pitcher and Ed Johnson was an outfielder.

Boxing and W529

Collectors should note that the boxing cards are often grouped as W529 issues as the checklist of boxers included as well as the poses closely resemble cards found in that grouping.

For now, however, I have kept them separate from that classification on my website. That is because, while the checklist and poses closely align with those cards, the design is clearly the same as that of the baseball Big Heads cards. For that reason, I’ve kept the two together for the context of this site.

Big Heads Strip Cards Checklist

Baseball

  1. Jim Bagby
  2. Home Run Baker
  3. Dave Bancroft
  4. Ping Bodie
  5. George Burns
  6. Leon Cadore
  7. Ty Cobb
  8. Larry Doyle
  9. Heinie Growh
  10. Rogers Hornsby
  11. Walter Johnson
  12. Joe Judge
  13. Ed Konetchy
  14. Carl Mays
  15. Zeb Milan
  16. Sam Rice
  17. Babe Ruth
  18. Ray Schalk
  19. Wally Schang
  20. George Sisler

Boxing

  1. Joe Beckett
  2. Jack Britton
  3. George Carpentier
  4. Jack Dempsey
  5. Johnny Dundee
  6. Fred Fulton
  7. Johnny Kilbane
  8. Benny Leonard
  9. Mike O’Dowd
  10. Lou Tendler

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