1920 W519 Strip Card Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title W519 Strip
Year 1920
Size 1 1/2″ x 2 7/16″
Images Color
Type Strip
Number in Set
40

W519 Strip Card Set Overview

W519 05 Ruth.jpg

Three different variations make up the 1920 W519 strip card set. The three sets all look exactly the same in terms of design, but have differences with regards to the card numbers.

The first two sets are numbered but have different card numbers from each other and the third version is not numbered at all. Here is a brief description of all three sets:

  • W519-1-1: Card number printed in black / various background colors
  • W519-1-2: Card number printed in blue / various background colors
  • W519-2: No card number / only blue backgrounds

The good thing about these cards is that, even if you are unfamiliar with the numbering for the subsets, you can easily tell which group a card belongs. Cards with black numbers are W519-1-1 while cards with blue numbers are W519-1-2. Cards with no numbers are W519-2.

Cards are similar to other strip card issues with colored images and names on the front with blank backs. A total of 21 different cards are found in the three sets with most repeating across the issues. The lone difference is Eddie Cicotte, who is found in W519-1-2 and W519-2.

Rarity

None of the three issues are extremely plentiful. That likely has to do, at least in part, to the low-quality nature of strip cards. Often given away to customers for buying something, many were probably discarded without much thought. Even collectors of them may have been hard pressed to keep them in half decent shape because of the poor paper quality.

W519-2 is by far the most plentfiul. Per the PSA pop reports, despite having only half the amount of cards, it’s been graded more than twice as much as W519-1-1. The true rarities are the W519-1-2 cards, though. PSA has graded only a handful of those and they are not easy to find.

Decalco Lithographic Company

W519 Sisler DecalcoWhile the end users for these cards are not known, they appear to be the work of the Decalco Litho Company. We know that because their name is seen on the edge of some W519 and W521 strip cards. It likely was printed at the edge of a sheet and thus made its way onto the borders of some of the cards.

That company was a printer based in Hoboken, New Jersey. This page states that the company was actually born as the American Transfer Pictures and Printing Company in 1908. The company printed ‘toy goods’ and transfers, and was incorporated in 1918 under the Decalco Litho Company name.

That last part about the company printing transfers makes plenty of sense with regards to the baseball cards they printed. As stated, Decalco printed both the W519 and W521 strip cards. The W521s are simply W519 cards with reverse images. You know – kind of like the ones that would be used when creating transfers.

Regarding the W519 cards, the Decalco name is commonly seen on George Sisler’s and Rube Marquard’s cards, leading us to believe that they were printed on the edge of a sheet. In addition, extra printing is also found on the cards indicating how many were in the set. Leon Cadore’s W519-1-1 cards, for example, are sometimes found with ’20 to a set’ on the border. Same with Wally Schang’s cards in that set.

Here’s a closer look at DeCalco and the cards.

Checklisting Issues

Wally Schang had been credited as W519-1-2 in many checklists based on the numbering pattern of the other cards compared with the W519-1-2 checklist. However, reader Dan McKee has found evidence of Eddie Cicotte as card No. 15 in the set.

That now links the set much closer with W519-2 as the checklists for those two sets are now identical. As a result, a better classification may be to categorize these sets as W519-1, W519-2-1, and W519-2-2. However that relabeling is unlikely to gain much traction as the current labeling of the three issues is already only semi-known as it is.

W519 Strip Card Checklist

Below are checklists for all three sets.

W519-1-1

  1. Guy Morton
  2. Rube Marquard
  3. Gavvy Cravath
  4. Ernie Kreuger
  5. Babe Ruth
  6. George Sisler
  7. Rube Benton
  8. Jimmie Johnston
  9. Wilbur Robinson
  10. Johnny Griffith
  11. Home Run Baker
  12. Bob Veach
  13. Jesse Barnes
  14. Leon Cadore
  15. Ray Schalk
  16. Kid Gleason
  17. Joe Murphy
  18. Frankie Frisch
  19. Eddie Collins
  20. Wally Schang

W519-1-2

11. Kid Gleason
12. Joe Murphy
13. Frankie Frisch
14. Eddie Collins
15. Eddie Cicotte
16. Guy Morton
17. Rube Marquard
18. Gavvy Cravath
19. Ernie Krueger
20. Babe Ruth

W519-2

As this set is unnumbered, I have listed the cards in alphabetical order.

  1. Eddie Cicotte
  2. Eddie Collins
  3. Gavvy Cravath
  4. Frankie Frisch
  5. Kid Gleason
  6. Ernie Krueger
  7. Rube Marquard
  8. Guy Morton
  9. Joe Murphy
  10. Babe Ruth

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