It's January second, and I'm already one third of the way through my goal of getting six pre-war Braves cards this year. Who cares if I won 'em last year, they came in the mail today and that counts. These are a couple of scroungy looking oddballs only a team collector could love.
These cards are from a strip card set from 1927 designated as W560 in Jefferson Burdick's American Card Catalog. W560 is a number used to help classify and organize old trading card sets, just like the classic 1909 tobacco card set is known as T206. Strip cards were trading cards sold in an uncut strip or sheet, and were sold directly to collectors instead of inserted as a premium in some product. Most strip cards were usually inexpensive and were fairly cheap looking, but this one is very distinctive from the other baseball sets. It is a 64 card set featuring baseball players and celebrities that doubles as a deck of playing cards. The big cards in this set are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson and there's even a card of Charles Lindbergh. They can be found cut out into individual cards like these, or in strips or even full sheets. I picked up a couple of old Boston Braves, Fred Maguire and Lester Bell.
I'm not entirely sure how this is a set from 1927, since Lester didn't Join the Braves until 1928 and Fred until 1929. Every reference guide I've seen lists this as a 1927 set though, maybe Edgar Cayce was the publisher. The cards have Boston Braves printed right on them (although Fred's wearing his Giants cap), so I'm not going to worry about it. These two were infield mates in 1929, before Les was cut and signed by the Cubs. I'm not sure why Les was the one put on waivers, he was an average hitting third baseman while Fred was a lousy hitter even for a second sacker. He did lead the league in sacrifices twice, so he's got that going for him. They both only have a handful of cards each and unless they have Conlon Collection cards, these are the only ones of them I have. They are pretty neat looking too, second baseman Fred is the two of clubs, while Les is the... um, Jack of Parachutes? This would be a hell of a deck to play Texas Hold 'em with, imagine going all in with two pair needing an ace for a full house and then watching a Parachute show up on the river card. Maybe I should buy that Fritsch reprint set and piss everyone off at the next poker night.