In the American Card Catalog, author Jefferson Burdick made a brief mention of a set he referred to as V352 Baseball Photos. While Burdick’s description, like most of his other classified sets, was not a long one, he did make it pretty clear what these looked like. The famous collector added a small commentary that the V352 photos were similar to the well-known R314 Goudey wide pen photo premium set. As a Canadian V-Card issue, that was not atypical, of course, since World Wide Gum reflected the American Goudey sets.
Today, though, if you look for the elusive V352 issue, you come up mostly empty. That’s because most collectors today have lumped both the R314 and V352 photos together. Instead of separating them in two different classifications, the accepted standard today has been to identify them as five separate R314 types.
That is simply not accurate.
Current R314 Types
If you consider all of the wide pen issues as belonging to R314, there are indeed five different types. I won’t go too much into detail here, but quickly, here are the different distinctions between the five types:
- Type 1: Photos with a ‘Litho in USA’ printing in the white border
- Type 2: Photos with the white borders but no ‘Litho in USA’ printing
- Type 3: Photos with no borders
- Type 4: Photos with a creamy border and no ‘Litho in USA’ printing
- Type 5: Photos with a creamy border and only Canadian players.
Separating R314 Types from V352 Types
So which of those should be classified as V352?
Those last two types are important and really the subject of this article. They are described in the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards (and elsewhere) as having ‘creamy’ borders. That word was used by Burdick in his book when describing the V352 photos.
Further, Burdick says V352 included Canadian players, which Type 5 does. At a minimum, those photos belong in the V352 classification since Type 5 is the only issue that has Canadian stars.
It doesn’t end there, however. Type 4 also has creamy borders and probably belongs there as well. It isn’t only the borders that should be the driver behind that. Burdick’s description of V352 photos says that they have ‘additional Canadian players.’ That indicates there are probably more than simply Canadian players in the V352 set. Because the current R314 Type 5 only includes Canadian players, that means at least one more Type belongs with V352. Given the creamy border color, that seems to be Type 4.
One other small piece of evidence that Type 4 and Type 5 are V352 photos is that they are generally recognized as being 1937 issues. Types 1, 2, and 3 are all 1936 and that further separates the groups. Because of that, I consider the V352 set as 1937 issue.
It’s pretty clear that, whether it was out of convenience or not knowing which Type belongs with which classification, Type 5 and probably Type 4 are the V352 issues Burdick mentions in his book. It’s time to recognize these types for what they are and start properly classifying them instead of lumping them in with the R314 photos. Those classifications are as such:
R314 – Current R314 Types 1, 2, and 3
V352 – Current R314 Types 4 and 5