The Famous T206 Baseball Cards

Bill Heitman appropriately named the T206 Baseball Card Set ‘The Monster”. There are 524 cards in the set with 37 different tobacco advertisements that can be on the back of each card. If you include all of the front/back variations, there were close to 7000 different T206 Baseball Cards produced. These famous baseball cards were also the first to be mass marketed in the United States.

The T206 Baseball Cards were sold in cigarette packs from 1909 to 1911 by the American Tobacco Company. This set is one of the hobby’s most revered and iconic, and contains 38 Hall of Fame baseball players!! With this quantity of baseball stars, the T206 set became instantly popular with the public. If you include the different poses, there are 76 different Hall of Fame player cards, see the list below. Would you like to own T206 cards of ‘iconic’ legends like Cobb, Johnson, Mathewson, and Young? I sure would!

T206 Baseball Cards of Hall of Fame Players:

Home Run BakerJohnny Evers/PortraitChristy Mathewson/Dark Cap
Jake BeckleyJohnny Evers w/Bat Chicago ShirtChristy Mathewson/Portrait
Chief Bender/Pitching No TreesJohnny Evers w/Bat Cubs ShirtChristy Mathewson/White Cap
Chief Bender/Pitching Trees BackElmer FlickIron Man McGinnity
Chief Bender/PortraitClark Griffith/BattingJohn McGraw/Finger in Air
Roger Bresnahan/PortraitClark Griffith/PortraitJohn McGraw/Glove at Hip
Roger Bresnahan/with BatMiller Huggins/Hands at MouthJohn McGraw/Portrait No Cap
Mordecai Brown/Chicago ShirtMiller Huggins/PortraitJohn McGraw/Portrait with Cap
Mordecai Brown/Cubs ShirtHughie Jennings/Both HandsEddie Plank
Mordecai Brown/PortraitHughie Jennings/One Hand ShowsTris Speaker
Frank Chance/BattingHughie Jennings/PortraitJoe Tinker/Bat off Shoulder
Frank Chance/Portrait RedWalter Johnson/Hands at ChestJoe Tinker/Bat on Shoulder
Frank Chance/Portrait YellowWalter Johnson/PortraitJoe Tinker/Hands on Knees
Jack ChesbroAddie Joss/PitchingJoe Tinker/Portrait
Fred Clarke/Holding BatAddie Joss/PortraitRube Waddell/Portrait
Fred Clarke/PortraitWillie Keeler/PortraitRube Waddell/Throwing
Ty Cobb/Bat off ShoulderWillie Keeler w/BatHonus Wagner
Ty Cobb/Bat on ShoulderJoe KelleyBobby Wallace
Ty Cobb/Portrait GreenNap Lajoie/PortraitEd Walsh
Ty Cobb/Portrait RedNap Lajoie/ThrowingZack Wheat
Eddie Collins/PhiladelphiaNap Lajoie w/BatVic Willis/Pittsburgh Portrait
Jimmy Collins/Minneapolis MLRube Marquard/Follow ThroughVic Willis/St. Louis Throwing
Sam Crawford/ThrowingRube Marquard/Hands at ThighsVic Willis/St. Louis with Bat
Sam Crawford w/BatRube Marquard/PortraitCy Young/Bare Hand Shows
George DavisCy Young/Glove Shows
Hugh DuffyCy Young/Portrait

T206 Baseball Cards and their Back Advertisements

The T206 Baseball Cards feature 15 different advertisers printed on the back. There were 14 cigarette advertisers and one chewing tobacco advertiser. See the list below:

American Beauty
Broad Leaf
Carolina Brights
El Principe de Gales
Old Mill
Polar Bear (Chewing Tobacco)
Sweet Caporal

To complicate things further, there are several variations of the back advertisements listed above. The total becomes 37 different backs with these variations. Of which, 27 backs like Piedmont, Sweet Caporal, Polar Bear, Sovereign 150, Sovereign 350, Old Mill (Black), American Beauty 350, El Principe Del Gales, Cycle, and Tolstoi, don’t bring a price premium. Check out the pictures below of the 10 ‘Rare Backs’ that do bring a ‘Price Premium’. We have also included a list of ‘rare back’ multipliers to help you determine their prices. The multipliers are only a guide. A Hall of Fame player’s card with one of these rare backs could have a much higher multiplier. Simply put, if you have a common player’s T206 Baseball Card with a common back like Piedmont, Sweet Caporal, or Sovereign, the value is around $100 in EX condition. If this same card had a Drum Advertisement on the back, the value is around $4,000 in EX condition.

Rare BackMultiplier
Broadleaf 46050X
Lenox (Brown)40X
Hindu (Red)10X
Lenox (Black)10X
Broad Leaf 3505X
Carolina Brights5X
American Beauty 4602X
Hindu (Brown)2X

Below are 3 pics of common T206 Baseball Card Backs:

How to Sell T206 Baseball Cards

  1. Identify your HOF Player cards
  2. Take pictures of the HOF Player cards (front & back)
  3. Identify the cards with rare backs (see list above)
  4. Count the remaining cards
  5. Make a list of the HOF player cards, cards with rare backs, and the number of commons
  6. Do your best to determine their condition.
  7. Check eBay’s Recent Sales of similar conditioned cards to get an idea of values. Don’t look at what people are asking, there are some irrelevant/crazy prices being asked for cards that will never be sold! Actual sales will steer you in the right direction for proper pricing.
  8. Send us the list along with the card pictures and we will contact you with an offer.

Even T206 Baseball Cards that are creased, scuffed, stained, or dog-eared have value. Many collectors want cards in this condition because they are affordable.

Are my T206 Baseball Cards Real?

Take a close look at the player’s face. If you see an uneven mixture of dots and solid color, that’s a good sign. If you see a uniform dot pattern, it’s a reproduction.

The Player’s name should be in dark brown. If it looks black, the card is not authentic.

Reproductions are usually printed on a glossy stock. There is absolutely NO gloss on T206’s. T206’s measure 1 7/16 inches by 2 5/8 inches. Measure several of the cards to make sure the cards aren’t trimmed. Through the 115 years T206’s have existed, many have met this fate.

T206 Baseball Card Resources

  • Sports Collectors Daily – Tip on Authenticating T206 Baseball Cards

T206 Baseball Card Rarities (The Big Four)

Honus Wagner

The T206 Honus Wagner is one of the most recognized cards in the hobby. There are only 50 to 60 examples known at present. Legend is, Honus Wagner was pulled from the set after he demanded that his likeness not be used with tobacco products. But a new theory suggests Wagner demanded more money for the use of his likeness.

Eddie Plank

Researchers have speculated that perhaps the printing plate used to create this card was broken. A new theory has emerged where it is believed Plank, like Wagner, demanded more money for the use of his likeness. There are less than 100 known examples of this card.

Sherry Magie (s/b Magee)

This error has Magee’s name spelled ‘Magie’ on his portrait card. The card is very rare with less than 180 examples known.

Joe Doyle (N. Y. NAT’L) Hands over Head

Joe Doyle has two ‘hands over head’ poses in the T206 set. The common card has ‘N. Y.’ next to his name at the bottom of the card. The RARE one has ‘N. Y. NAT’L’ next to his name at the bottom of the card. Joe Doyle played for the N. Y. American League team, and was apparently mistaken for Larry Doyle of the N. Y. NAT’L Giants. There are only 9 known examples. This is one of the rarest, if not THE rarest card in the hobby

Why you should sell to Kurtz Kardz

Finding the retail customer takes an extensive amount of work and most people with collections don’t have the time or knowledge to accomplish the task. Also, the sports card shops in your area are generally not well equipped to appraise or purchase vintage collections of any magnitude. These retail stores are focused on selling modern products and simply don’t have the time or the knowledge to carefully evaluate vintage collections. So, how should you proceed? Kurtz Kardz will buy the entire collection and pay cash for it immediately.

We start with the more valuable cards from your collection. We grade them while showing/explaining the reasons for the grade.  We then establish a price for the card with a full explanation of how that is done. Once we receive your ‘Buy In’ of our explanation and the assessed value, we will continue with the remaining cards and come up with an offer for the entire collection.

We have been in the card collecting hobby full time since 1996. We have purchased nearly every card in existence except for the ‘True Rarities’, no T206 Wagner yet!!

We treat every collection and collector with the respect they deserve. Being a longtime collector myself, I understand how much work it takes to build a collection. So when you’re ready to sell, I understand what you are going through and will help you reach the best decision.

Our process is very straight forward and my guarantee is that you will feel comfortable within the first 10 minutes. Sounds a little overly confident? Well, I have purchased hundreds of collections over the last 26 years, with many pleased clients.

We Are Always Buying

Kurtz Kardz is always buying vintage sports cards from 1887 to 1972. You can get an idea of the cards we aggressively target by visiting Our Most Wanted List. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today.

How can I engage with Kurtz Kardz?

  1. We will Travel to You! If you have a collection and want us to come see You, we can catch a plane the next day! We have traveled all over the country buying sports cards, you can be our next stop! Contact us to discuss this option, we generally require a more valuable collection because of travel expenses.
  2. Meet me in Denver, Colorado
  3. Ship your collection – We can offer our FedEx account with free 2-day shipping. The package will be fully insured and tracked. We will make an offer the day we receive your cards. If you choose not to sell the cards, we’ll ship them back that day! For those of you who are nervous about shipping your cards, we have shipped millions of dollars’ worth of cards and only placed one insurance claim (in the amount of $650) in our 26 years. If you have engaged with us, and made the decision to sell your cards, they will be insured for the estimated value we placed on your collection.

Call Kurt at 303-792-9665