Thursday, January 6, 2011

T206 Cubs...and Not the Topps Versions

Back in November, I got this book as a birthday present.

I didn't really know too much about the T206 cards, so the book was very helpful. While the book did pique my interest, I also know that I'm not about to start picking up any T206s any time soon. They are a bit out of my price range. Some day it would be nice to own a couple, just to have them, but not for a while.

The best I figured I could do is reprints, so I started looking on Ebay. It was an easy find as I found a set of the 36 Cubs card that was going for 50 cents per card. That was more in my price range, so I got them.

Here is a look at the front side of 36 cards. Click on any of the pictures to get a better look at the cards.

With they variety of different brands, the backs looks just as interesting as the fronts.

Once in hand, I was struck by how small they are. I never paid any attention to their size, and in the pictures you see of them, they seem to be about the same size as any baseball card. But they are only 1 7/16" by 2 5/8". That is quiet a bit smaller than today's 2 1/2" by 3 1/2".

This is a 1909 T206 on top of a 2010 Topps T206 card. You can see just how small the originals were. This may not be news to many of you, but since I never saw a T206 before, it was news to me!

The other thing that I was unaware of was all the variations. While there are 36 Cubs cards, they feature only 20 different players. Ten of the players have two or more different cards. Shortstop Joe Tinker was the leader with four cards.

Using the book as a guide, I'll be showing all of the T206 Cubs cards and telling a little about the players.

Here is today's player, George Browne. I knew that Mordecai Brown was on the Cubs, but I never knew there was another Brown on the team. The first thing you may notice on the card is that Browne's name is spelled wrong; the card has Brown. The uniform doesn't look like a Cubs uniform either, and it probably isn't.

George Browne played on seven teams during his twelve season career. That's a lot of moving around. That is also why he isn't shown in a Cubs uniform. If I had to guess, I would say that he is wearing a Boston uniform. He was with the Cubs for only a small part of the 1909 season. He was purchased by the Cubs from Boston in February 1909. He hit .205 in 12 games and then the Cubs put him on waivers.

That brief 12 game span was enough to get him on a tobacco card. I wonder what sort of a production lead time they had? A later card of Brown was identical to this one (including the misspelled name) except that they replaced Chicago, Nat'l with Washington, since he was picked up by the Senators off of the waiver wire.


  1. As a team collector on a budget I know I can't go buy all the old cards either. But I do watch them on ebay. Any time one goes for less then $20 I buy it. I have aquired quite a few original tobacco card Red Sox this way. I know I won't get the whole set for under 20 each but I can knock out most of them that way.

    One tip for getting them cheaper is don't search for "T206 Cubs" cause every Cubs team collector will see the same thing you are. The ones that don't have the team name in the title go cheaper. Search each T206 Cub player individually, like "T206 Brown", and save the search when done. Save the search so that you can run each search qiuckly and then veiw them as newly listed first. It will only take you a few nimutes to check and see what new auctions have been added.

    Also, if you like the T206s try the T205s. They are better looking cards and lesser known so cheaper.

  2. It's a great book. It's got a place on my night stand for quick access when I need some factoids to pass the time.

  3. Thanks for the great advice, Adam.