1888 WG1 Base Ball Playing Cards Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title WG1 Base Ball Playing Cards
Year 1888
Size 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Images Color
Type Game Cards
Number in Set

1888 WG1 Base Ball Playing Cards Overview

WG1 Galvin.jpgThe 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.

  1. Andrews
  2. Anson
  3. Bassett
  4. Bastian
  5. Bennett
  6. Boyle
  7. Brouthers
  8. Brown
  9. Burns
  10. Carroll
  11. Casey
  12. Clarkson
  13. Clements
  14. Coleman
  15. Connor
  16. Dalrymple
  17. Denny
  18. Donelly
  19. Dunlap
  20. Esterbrook
  21. Ewing
  22. Farrar
  23. Flint
  24. Fogarty
  25. Foster
  26. Galvin
  27. Getzein
  28. Glasscock
  29. Gore
  30. Hanlon
  31. Hines
  32. Hornung
  33. Hoy
  34. Irwin
  35. Irwin
  36. Johnston
  37. Keefe
  38. Kelly
  39. Kuehne
  40. Mack
  41. Maul
  42. Meyers
  43. Meyers
  44. Morrill
  45. Mulvey
  46. Nash
  47. O’Brien
  48. O’Rourke
  49. Pettit
  50. Pfeffer
  51. Richardson
  52. Richardson
  53. Rowe
  54. Ryan
  55. Seery
  56. Shoch
  57. Shomberg
  58. Smith
  59. Sullivan
  60. Sunday
  61. Sutton
  62. Thompson
  63. Tierman
  64. Twitchell
  65. Van Haltren
  66. Ward
  67. White
  68. Whitney
  69. Williamson
  70. Wilmot
  71. Wise
  72. Wood

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