1888 WG1 Base Ball Playing Cards Set and Checklist
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||WG1 Base Ball Playing Cards
|Size||2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
|Number in Set
1888 WG1 Base Ball Playing Cards Overview
The WG1 Base Ball playing card set is the oldest catalogued gaming card designated as a WG set in the American Card Catalog.
At 72 cards, it is a little bigger than the typical gaming card issue in terms of quantity. And because the cards feature actual players, they are more desirable than most others.
The cards feature color images of players as well as their name and position. Backs of the cards have a typical playing card design printed in blue ink. Numerous big names are included in the set, such as Cap Anson and King Kelly. The players’ names are in small font compared to their team and position at the top and bottom, respectively. Backs have a decorative blue background.
The set is interesting in that it uses virtually the same pose/design for all players of the same position. All right fielders, for instance, are depicted with their left hand on their hip and leaning over slightly. Uniform combinations change between player as do some other minor characteristics, such as facial hair. But in general, the poses for each position remain the same throughout the set.
A Unique Code
The strangest characteristic of the cards, no doubt, are the codes at the top.
These do not have traditional suits and numbers like regular playing cards. Instead, they utilize a bit of a more cryptic code.
In the upper left hand corner, the player’s team name initial is printed (i.e. C for Chicago). Notably, two team names began with a P — Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Philadelphia cards simply have a ‘P’ while Pittsburgh has a ‘PG.’ Teams represented were Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington.
Numbers on the cards were represented by position as designated below:
- Catcher (Ace)
- Pitcher (King)
- Shortstop (Queen)
- First Base (Jack)
- Second Base (Ten)
- Third Base (Nine)
- Left Field (Eight)
- Center Field (Seven)
- Right Field (Six)
WG1 Base Ball Checklist
Here are pictures of all of the cards in the set.
- Van Haltren