1941 Double Play Set and Checklist
‘It’s In The Details’
|Size||2 1/2″ x 3 1/8″
|Images||Black and White
|Number in Set
1941 Double Play Overview
The 1941 Double Play set was issued by Gum Products, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. As cited here, the company began in 1940 with $16,000 borrowed for start-up capital for the new venture.
While there are only 75 cards in the set, there are 150 players featured as two players are included on each card — hence the Double Play name. Note, however, that as some players are duplicated, there are not 150 different players. The set is one of the few notable early 1940s gum card releases that was issued during World War II.
Cards were packaged with Gum Products, Inc.’s (independent of Gum, Inc.) Double Play bubble gum. Two cards (four players) were included inside each one-cent package.
The set is listed as R330 in the American Card Catalog. Fronts can have both a horizontal or vertical layout and each card has the names of two players as well as some biographical and limited statistical information. Backs of the cards are blank. The set is popular with team collectors as each card features a pair of players from the same team. While the cards are generally listed as black and white, some have a sepia or light reddish tone to them.
Some of the combinations in the set are classic, featuring two Hall of Famers or big name players. This article identifies some of the more important pairings.
Most of the layouts are horizontal with simple player headshots. However, card numbers 41-50 (actual card numbers of 81 through 100) are printed vertically and were action photos.
Card numbering is a bit unique as each card technically has two numbers — one for each player. That gives credence to the idea that these could really be viewed as 150 cards as opposed to 75 and that the cards were intended to be separated. And that’s exactly what many collectors did.
Similar to what collectors did with other dual-player cards, these have often been separated/cut to split up the players. These makeshift individual cut cards do have value but it’s significantly less than the cards that are fully intact. Even if they were intended to be separated into two distinct cards, doing so severely decreases the value.
The set includes many popular players from the era, including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg, Mel Ott, Johnny Mize, and more. And while there are only 75 cards, the set’s completion is made more difficult by the fact that some stars, like Williams and Greenberg are found on more than one card.
Key Rookie Cards
In addition to all of the stars mentioned, the famous set also includes several key rookie cards.
Featured in the release are true rookie cards of Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto, Enos Slaughter, and Pee Wee Reese. All three are notable and tracked heavily by collectors. Rizzuto’s is arguably the most important, however.
While the others have other cards that can be considered rookies or early issues, Rizzuto was not found in any other mainstream sets until 1947. His card is not only a rookie but is arguably his only real early card. Rizzuto’s card is also important as it is one of the few in the set featuring more than one Hall of Famer as he is pictured alongside fellow Cooperstown inductee Lefty Gomez.
1941 Double Play Checklist
- (1 and 2) Larry French and Vance Page
- (3 and 4) Billy Herman and Stan Hack
- (5 and 6) Linus Frey and Johnny Vander Meer
- (7 and 8) Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters
- (9 and 10) Frank McCormick and Bill Werber
- (11 and 12) Jimmy Ripple and Ernie Lombardi
- (13 and 14) Alex Kampouris and John Wyatt
- (15 and 16) Mickey Owen and Paul Waner
- (17 and 18) Harry Lavagetto and Harold Reiser
- (19 and 20) Jimmy Wasdell and Dolph Camilli
- (21 and 22) Dixie Walker and Ducky Medwick
- (23 and 24) Pee Wee Reese and Kirby Higbe
- (25 and 26) Harry Danning and Cliff Melton
- (27 and 28) Harry Gumbert and Burgess Whitehead
- (29 and 30) Joe Orengo and Joe Moore
- (31 and 32) Mel Ott and Babe Young
- (33 and 34) Lee Handley and Arky Vaughan
- (35 and 36) Bob Klinger and Stanley Brown
- (37 and 38) Terry Moore and Gus Mancuso
- (39 and 40) Johnny Mize and Enos Slaughter
- (41 and 42) John Cooney and Sibby Sisti
- (43 and 44) Max West and Carvel Rowell
- (45 and 46) Dan Litwhiler and Merrill May
- (47 and 48) Frank Hayes and Al Brancato
- (49 and 50) Bob Johnson and Bill Nagel
- (51 and 52) Buck Newsom and Hank Greenberg
- (53 and 54) Barney McCosky and Charlie Gehringer
- (55 and 56) Pinky Higgins and Dick Bartell
- (57 and 58) Ted Williams and Jim Tabor
- (59 and 60) Joe Cronin and Jimmie Foxx
- (61 and 62) Lefty Gomez and Phil Rizzuto
- (63 and 64) Joe DiMaggio and Charley Keller
- (65 and 66) Red Rolfe and Bill Dickey
- (67 and 68) Joe Gordon and Red Ruffing
- (69 and 70) Mike Tresh and Luke Appling
- (71 and 72) Moose Solters and John Rigney
- (73 and 74) Buddy Meyer and Ben Chapman
- (75 and 76) Cecil Travis and George Case
- (77 and 78) John Krakauskas and Bob Feller
- (79 and 80) Ken Keltner and Hal Trosky
- (81 and 82) Ted Williams and Joe Cronin
- (83 and 84) Joe Gordon and Charley Keller
- (85 and 86) Hank Greenberg and Red Ruffing
- (87 and 88) Hal Trosky and George Case
- (89 and 90) Mel Ott and Burgess Whitehead
- (91 and 92) Harry Danning and Harry Gumbert
- (93 and 94) Babe Young and Cliff Melton
- (95 and 96) Jimmy Ripple and Bucky Walters
- (97 and 98) Stan Hack and Bob Klinger
- (99 and 100) Johnny Mize and Dan Litwhiler
- (101 and 102) Dom Dallessandro and Augie Galan
- (103 and 104) Bill Lee and Phil Cavarretta
- (105 and 106) Lefty Grove and Bobby Doerr
- (107 and 108) Frank Pytlak and Dom DiMaggio
- (109 and 110) Gerald Priddy and John Murphy
- (111 and 112) Tommy Henrich and Marius Russo
- (113 and 114) Frank Crosetti and John Sturm
- (115 and 116) Ival Goodman and Myron McCormick
- (117 and 118) Eddie Joost and Ernest Koy
- (119 and 120) Lloyd Waner and Hank Majeski
- (121 and 122) Buddy Hassett and Eugene Moore
- (123 and 124) Nick Etten and John Rizzo
- (125 and 126) Sam Chapman and Wally Moses
- (127 and 128) John Babich and Richard Siebert
- (129 and 130) Nelson Potter and Benny McCoy
- (131 and 132) Clarence Campbell and Lou Boudreau
- (133 and 134) Rolly Hemsley and Mel Harder
- (135 and 136) Gerald Walker and Joe Heving
- (137 and 138) John Rucker and Ace Adams
- (139 and 140) Morris Arnovich and Carl Hubbell
- (141 and 142) Lew Riggs and Leo Durocher
- (143 and 144) Fred Fitzsimmons and Joe Vosmik
- (145 and 146) Frank Crespi and Jim Brown
- (147 and 148) Don Heffner and Harland Clift
- (149 and 150) Debs Garms and Elbie Fletcher