Sunday, March 09, 2014

T206 (1909-1911)

T206 (1909-1911) Pittsburgh Pirates

Synonymous with the phrase “tobacco card,” the 1909-1911 T206 series consists of 524 distinctly different "White Border" player portrayals measuring about 1-7/16" by 2-5/8”. The cards were designed to conform to the packages they shared with their American Tobacco Company products. The T206 collection includes 390 cards featuring major league players (with multiple poses and captions for the same player counted separately) and 134 minor leaguers, each in a straightforward and simple arrangement. Never assigned a formal title by its maker, the issue derives its T206 identity from a single line in Jefferson Burdick's definitive volume, The American Card Catalog. T206s were released from the 1909 through 1911 seasons, with the majority showing reverse side advertising of the company's popular tobacco brands. The most common backs tout the brands Piedmont, Sweet Caporal, Old Mill and Sovereign trademarks. Numbering 16 varieties in all, the hierarchy of scarcity ascends from those four names upward through such exotic types as American Beauty, Carolina Brights, and El Principe de Gales, the less-common brands Cycle, Polar Bear, and Tolstoi, and nears its culmination with seldom-seen Broad Leaf, Drum, Hindu, Lenox, and Uzit logos.

The pinnacle of cardback scarcity is the "Ty Cobb" reverse design, wherein Cobb is termed "King of the Smoking Tobacco World." This specific advertisement is only found on the Ty Cobb red back portrait. Eventually, T206 content expanded to accommodate fans residing outside the relatively few major league cities of the time. Minor league players from a number of associations and towns were added to the set's cumulative roster. Captions were updated on certain player cards to reflect trades, and poses switched to keep the issue fresh. The obstacle to completing the more than 500-piece set lies with its fabled rarities. Certain "key" players in the set are famously elusive, with the unchallenged crown jewel being T206's Honus Wagner entry, which enjoys a mystique and apocryphal tales like no other.

See the T206 Pittsburgh Pirates

Card Values

Team Set Checklist

T206 - Pirates 
Ed Abbaticchio (blue sleeves)
Ed Abbaticchio (brown sleeves)
Bill Abstein
Howie Camnitz (arms folded)
Howie Camnitz (arm at side)
Howie Camnitz (hands above head)
Fred Clarke (batting)
Fred Clarke (portrait)
George Gibson
Tommy Leach (bending over)
Tommy Leach (portrait)
Lefty Leifield (batting)
Lefty Leifield (pitching)
Nick Maddox
Dots Miller
Deacon Phillippe
Honus Wagner
Vic Willis (portrait)
Owen Wilson