1939-46 Exhibit Salutations Set (W462)
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||W462 Salutations Exhibits
|Size||3 1/2″ x 5 5/16″
|Number in Set
||65 (Base set without variations) / 89 (Master set)
Exhibit Salutations (W462) Overview
While most of the W462 Exhibits were printed after 1939, the date we deem as the end of the pre-war card era, this series was started in that year.
88 cards are in the set, but there are only 63 if you don’t count the variations. In addition to the player’s image (in sepia tone) and a replica of his signature on the front, these also included a short greeting, such as ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Best Wishes.’
While the set is often referred to as the ‘Salutations’ set, the American Card Catalog does not specifically give it a name.
Numerous variations exist and in most cases, they are minor. One is that the “Made in USA” print is found in either the left or right corners on many of the cards. Other variations exist, too. One involves Andy Pafko (pictured) who has cards with both a blank cap and one with a ‘C’ on it.
Many of baseball’s biggest stars of the 1930s and 1940s are here, including Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Dizzy Dean, Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg, and more. Even beyond the biggest names, there are some other notables here, too. Hal Newhouser, another Hall of Famer, for example, has his rookie card in the set — and it’s one of the more affordable pre-war Hall of Fame rookie cards that can be bought.
Backs of the cards were entirely blank but a very small amount have been seen with stamped advertisements for Holloway Candy. Holloway stamped their advertisements onto other cards as well and their Exhibit Salutations card are extremely rare.
83 Cards or More?
While 83 are sometimes cited in the set, there are actually a few more than that.
Tommy Holmes has three variations and only two are generally cited. Typically, Holmes’ “Yours Truly” and “Sincerely Yours” variations are the ones noted on checklists. But Holmes actually has two different “Yours Truly” cards. One has ‘An Exhibit Card’ in the lower left corner and the other has is without that designation.
Additionally, a small and large version of picture is known for Bob Feller’s pitching card. That discovery was only recently made on the Net54 site.
A slight variance is found on a few other known cards, too. Lou Boudreau, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Williams, and Rudy York all have photo issues with slightly different projections that are generally not checklisted as separate cards. In all, you get at least six more cards not previously known and more could be out there. Whether or not these are significant enough to be considered as true variations is up for interpretation.
Here’s a bit more on the variations in the set.
All of that said, exactly how many cards can considered to be in the set is up for debate. Some collectors do not consider these minor variations to be needed for a set. 83 has become the accepted number and a basic set minus any variations and errors could consist of as few as 65 cards.
While the set is typically dated as a 1939-46 release, it is clear that some of these Salutations Exhibits were printed beyond that.
A new set, without salutations printed on them, began in 1947. And while many collectors assume all of the Exhibits with salutations ceased in 1946, that isn’t really true. Some of the Salutations Exhibits were printed into the 1950s and even 1960s.
One example of that is seen in the cards for Andy Pafko. Pafko is known for having two variations of Salutations cards — one with his Cubs uniform and another with the Cubs logo removed from both his jersey and hat.
Pafko’s scrubbed logo cards are believed to have been printed after 1946. The telltale sign is that those cards have a ‘Printed in U.S.A.’ designation (as opposed to the earlier cards, which often said ‘Made in U.S.A.’). According to this page, the ‘Printed in U.S.A.’ cards were not released until 1954 and ran through 1963. Pafko’s Printed in U.S.A. card would have come in between as he joined the Milwaukee Braves in 1953 after playing two years in Brooklyn. That explains the removal of the logos on some of his cards.
Here’s more on the Pafko cards, specifically.
Despite the fact that some of the Salutations Exhibits were clearly printed after 1946, they are almost always advertised by sellers as a 1939-46 issue — if for no other reason than the fact that many collectors cannot tell them apart.
Additional ‘Later’ Salutations
While the Pafko cards are a bit confusing because they were originally issued in the 1939-46 set, there’s an even greater confusion with some other Salutations Exhibit cards.
That’s because a few of the later Exhibit cards issued in the 1947-66 series did, in fact, include salutations and were cards never included in this earlier series.
One of those, shown here, is Johnny Callison. Callison’s Exhibit shown here is from the 1960s and he was never included in the original 1939-46 series. We know that because Callison was only just born in 1939, making a card in this earlier series and impossibility.
Collectors concerned with finding the earlier 1939-46 Exhibit cards should consult a checklist for this series.
Exhibit Salutations (W462) Checklist
For purposes of the checklist below, only the recognized standard checklist, as well as the other slight photo variances I mentioned above, are listed.
- Luke Appling (USA left)
- Luke Appling (USA right)
- Earl Averill
- Red Barrett
- Hank Borowy
- Lou Boudreau
- Lou Boudreau with slight photo variation
- Dolph Camilli
- Phil Cavarretta
- Harland Clift
- Tony Cuccinello
- Dizzy Dean
- Paul Derringer
- Bill Dickey (USA left)
- Bill Dickey (USA right)
- Joe DiMaggio
- Bob Elliott
- Bob Feller (pitching – small picture)
- Bob Feller (pitching – large picture)
- Bob Feller (portrait)
- Dave Ferris
- Jimmie Foxx
- Lou Gehrig
- Charlie Gehringer
- Lefty Gomez
- Joe Gordon (Cleveland)
- Joe Gordon (New York)
- Hank Greenberg (Truly Yours)
- Henry Greenberg (Very Truly Yours / Pose Variation)
- Lefty Grove
- Gabby Hartnett
- Buddy Hassett
- Jeff Heath (large picture)
- Jeff Heath (small picture)
- Kirby Higbe
- Tommy Holmes (Sincerely Yours)
- Tommy Holmes (Yours Truly – with ‘An Exhibit Card’)
- Tommy Holmes (Yours Truly – without ‘An Exhibit Card’)
- Carl Hubbell
- Bob Johnson
- Charles Keller (USA left)
- Charles Keller (USA right)
- Ken Keltner
- Chuck Klein
- Mike Kreevich
- Joe Kuhel
- Bill Lee
- Ernie Lombardi (Cordially)
- Ernie Lombardi (Cordially Yours)
- Ernie Lombardi (Cordially Yours with slight photo variation)
- Marty Marion
- Marty Marion (An Exhibit Card)
- Merrill May
- Frank McCormick (USA left)
- Frank McCormick (USA right)
- George McQuinn (USA left)
- George McQuinn (USA right)
- Joe Medwick
- Johnny Mize (USA left)
- Johnny Mize (USA right)
- Hugh Mulcahy
- Hal Newhouser
- Buck Newsom
- Buck Newson (misspelled)
- Mel Ott (USA left)
- Mel Ott (USA right)
- Andy Pafko
- Andy Pafko (with ‘C’ on cap)
- Claude Passeau
- Howard Pollet (USA left)
- Howard Pollet (USA right)
- Pete Reiser (USA left)
- Pete Reiser (USA right)
- Johnny Rizzo
- Glenn Russell
- George Stirnweiss
- Cecil Travis
- Paul Trout
- Johnny Vander Meer
- Arky Vaughan
- Fred Walker
- Fred Walker (‘D’ on cap)
- Bucky Walters
- Lon Warneke
- Ted Williams
- Ted Williams (with #9)
- Ted Williams with slight photo variation
- Rudy York
- Rudy York with slight photo variation
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