Friday, January 7, 2011

T205 Baseball Cards

T205 #36 Ty Cobb

***The information in this article was used to write our ebook, Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Card Sets.  To purchase the ebook, please click here.*** has recently gotten several collections that included T205 baseball cards.  The T205 cards were released in 1911 into eleven different brands of cigarettes.  The T205 set includes 218 cards that measure 1-7/16” by 2-5/8”.  T205 cards are easily identified by the distinctive gold borders, which also tend to chip easily.
Like the T206 set, this set was released by the American Tobacco Company.  It featured players from the National League, American League, and minor league.  The cards also have the first ever facsimile autograph that is overlaid on the players’ pictures.  The idea of including a facsimile autograph would be repeated again and again by Topps and several other companies.

Hassan back (#14 Fred Beck)
Many of the eleven different brands of cigarettes had been used previously by in the T206 set.  To learn more about those brands and their backs, please click here.  The T205 set does include two new brands that had not been used with the T206 set.  The Hassan brand had been used to sell numerous other non-baseball sets including boxing and other popular sports such swimming and track & field.  Hassan was supposed to be an “oriental” style cigarette that had a cork-tip.  The other unique brand was Honest Long-Cut tobacco.  Like the Polar Bear brand, Honest was just loose smoking tobacco that was sold in paper pouches and had the brand name William Duke & Sons Company.  Honest tobacco may have been one of the original brands that was made by the American Tobacco Company.  Many of the other brands had been purchased by the American Tobacco Company, which had contributed to its monopoly that was dissolved shortly after these cards were produced.

T205 #208 Cy Young
The T205 set includes many expensive variations and star cards.  Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Cy Young all have cards in the T205 set.  However, one of the most expensive cards in the set is the Dick Hoblitzell “no stats” variation.  The statistics were usually printed between the short biographical paragraph and the cigarette advertisement.  Several other cards were printed without the statistics but Hoblitzell’s is the most expensive.  Hoblitzell was the 21-year-old first baseman for the Reds.  Although he had a fairly unremarkable baseball career, this card is one of the most interesting of the Pre-War era. is buying T205 sets as well as all other Pre-War baseball cards.  For information about selling your cards, please click here.  To see our inventory of T205 baseball cards, please click here.
T205 baseball cards can be extremely expensive, especially in nice condition. The reprints for the T205 cards are very popular and can be viewed by clicking here.

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