1913 National Game (WG5) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title National Game (WG5)
Year 1913
Size 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Images Black and White
Type Game Cards
Number in Set

1913 National Game Overview

WG5 National Game.jpgThe 1913 WG5 National Game set is a collection of 52 playing cards and two ‘extra’ cards. 43 are cards of specific players and the others are action shots from games with unidentified players.

The set was packaged in a standard playing card box with one of the action shots (running looking behind) on the front. Also in the set was an score card and rules card, which made up the two additional cards to get the complete set to 54.

Cards had a typical playing card cut with rounded corners and were the size of other standard issues. A black and white of the player was printed inside of a black border with his name and team present as well. Each player image was then on the white-bordered cards with specific actions (which were used to play the game) in the border areas.

The cards are similar to the Barker Game set believed to be printed in the same year. The checklist of between the two sets is nearly identical as well. However, a few different players are substituted in each issue. That, subsequently, has helped to distinguish the two. As mentioned here, Hal Chase is included in both sets but has a New York card in the National Game set and a Chicago card in the Barker Game set. Chase was first with New York and then joined Chicago during the 1913 season. As a result, we can conclude that the National Game set was likely printed first. One could even suggest that the Barker Game set was possibly printed in 1914 instead of 1913 as is commonly believed.

Two Ty Cobb Cards

Ty Cobb 1913 National Game CardMost players are featured only once in the set but the legendary Ty Cobb is seen twice.

Cobb’s most popular card would be his ‘base’ card, featuring a half portrait of him. But Cobb is also seen on one of the unnamed action cards as a sliding baserunner.

Cobb is not named but it is a picture of him. The card has increased in value over the years but is still not quite as valuable as Cobb’s primary card with a closeup of him and with his name printed on it.

This card has gained quite a bit of traction as one of Cobb’s more affordable cards.


Early advertising for the game from the Boston Globe in 1913 showed where this game could be purchased. Ads listed a total of 17 Boston dealers, including: Henry Siegel Company, Houghton & Dutton, C.F. Hovey, Shepard Norwell Company, Murphy Brothers, Iver Johnson Sport, William Read & Sons, Linscott Sporting Goods, Hooper, Lewis and Company, Samuel Ward and Company, Hill, Smith and Company, Liggett Drug Stores, Riker-Jaynes Drug Stores, Klein’s Drug Stores, Walker-Bintel Drug Company, D.H. Posner, and the Timothy Smith Company.

In addition to those options, the game was also available at all hotel and railroad news stands, as well as some other dealers in the New England area.

Reprint Alert

Collectors should be wary of reprints of these cards. Fortunately, there are a few different things to look for.

First, the cards are marked ‘Reprint’ in the lower left corner on the back side. However, even if that has been worn, reprint cards also have a chocolate brown tint to the pictures instead of the standard black and white images on authentic cards.

Keep in mind that crafty sellers of reprints may try to remove the ‘Reprint’ word from the back in an effort to pass them off as authentic cards. If you are unsure about a card’s authenticity, be sure to look at the lower left portion on the back to see if there is paper loss, rubbing away, or any other alterations that might make it seem like the word was removed.

Another easy way to identify the reprints are the corners. Corners on the reprint cards are more pronounced and rounded more significantly than those of the originals.

1913 National Game Checklist

  1. Grover Alexander
  2. Home Run Baker
  3. Chief Bender
  4. Bob Bescher
  5. Joe Birmingham
  6. Roger Bresnahan
  7. Nixey Callahan
  8. Frank Chance
  9. Hal Chase
  10. Fred Clarke
  11. Ty Cobb
  12. Sam Crawford
  13. Bill Dahlen
  14. Jake Daubert
  15. Red Dooin
  16. Johnny Evers
  17. Vean Gregg
  18. Clark Griffith
  19. Dick Hoblitzell
  20. Miller Huggins
  21. Joe Jackson
  22. Hughie Jennings
  23. Walter Johnson
  24. Ed Konetchy
  25. Nap Lajoie
  26. Connie Mack
  27. Rube Marquard
  28. Christy Mathewson
  29. John McGraw
  30. Larry McLean
  31. Clyde Milan
  32. Marty O’Toole
  33. Nap Rucker
  34. Tris Speaker
  35. Jake Stahl
  36. George Stallings
  37. George Stovall
  38. Bill Sweeney
  39. Joe Tinker
  40. Honus Wagner
  41. Ed Walsh
  42. Smoky Joe Wood
  43. Cy Young
  44. Base Hit / Caught Stealing
  45. Base Hit / Out
  46. Foul Fly / One
  47. Hit / One
  48. Hit / Out
  49. Hit / Out
  50. Hit / Two
  51. Steals / One
  52. Steals / One
  53. Rules Card
  54. Score Card

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