Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Turkey Red T3 and T205 Gold Border Baseball Cards Available at Dean's Cards

by Dean Hanley
Founder and Owner, Dean's Cards
Turkey Red T3 and T205 cards can be seen on the Deans's Cards Recently Added Cards page.
Dean’s Cards recently added a wide variety of Pre-War baseball cards to our inventory of more than 1.5 million vintage cards. The new additions include cards for a number of Hall of Fame players, including a T205 Ty Cobb, a T205 Eddie Collins, and a T206 Cy Young.

But the most distinctive cards in our recently acquired Pre-War baseball cards are the 1911 Turkey Red T3 Cabinets, some of the most popular Pre-War cards sets ever printed. The Turkey Red set consists of 126 cabinets that measure a huge  5¾” by 8." Each card has a checklist or advertisement for Turkey Red tobacco on the back.

Unlike other tobacco T-cards at the time, Turkey Red T3 cards were not inserted into packages of cigarettes or loose tobacco. T3 cards are often referred to as “premiums,” meaning that they could be redeemed by sending in coupons from participating tobacco brands. The Turkey Red cards could be redeemed by sending in 10 coupons from Turkey Red cigarettes, 25 coupons from Old Mill cigarettes, or 25 coupons from Fez cigarettes.

Turkey Red cigarettes were manufactured by the American Tobacco Company, which made many of the tobacco cards in the early part of the 20th century. The name Turkey Red may have come from a red dye that was found in southwest Asia. Turkish cigarettes would continue to be popular all the way through World War I.

The Turkey Red Cabinets set also includes action shots. Because the cards are particularly hard to find, the Turkey Red reprint set is a cheaper and easier set to build. The Turkey Red Cabinets are some of the most popular reprints that has in stock.

Fred Clarke, Hall of Famer, available at Dean's Cards.
The Turkey Red cards include a number of Hall of Fame players, which make the set even more desirable. Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, and Tris Speaker, who appears in significantly fewer baseball card sets than many other early baseball players, are all featured in the Turkey Red set. And the card for Fred Clarke, another Hall of Fame player, was recently added to our collection now available for purchase.

T205 Ty Cobb available at Dean's Cards.

The T205 baseball cards also now available for sale are easily identified by the cards’ distinctive gold borders, which also tend to chip easily.

Like the Turkey Red baseball card set, the T205 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.

The T205 baseball card 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 baseball cards era.

T205 Eddie Collins available at Dean's Cards.
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.

Dean’s Cards is always buying Turkey Red, T205 and all other Pre-War baseball cards. Please click here if you are interested in selling your Pre-War cards.

Click here to see our complete inventory of Turkey Red cards.

Click here to see our complete inventory of T205 Gold Border cards.

Dean Hanley, founder and owner of, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog. Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards.

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