I have a small handful of vintage T206 cards. For those of you who have printed and studied the Napkin Doon Baseball Card Solar System, you know that my T206 Ty Cobb card is the center and focal point of my baseball card collection. Not sure why- the more I read about Cobb, the more I can’t stand him.
If someone was to force me to limit my collecting to one, and only one set, I would stick to the T206 cards. They can be expensive, but these are the cards that are the most interesting, and can be shown off with pride to anyone, even non collectors. In fact, my Chick Gandil (1919 Black Sox fame) card was the first card I showed my wife (then girlfriend). I told her about his involvement in the scandal, and how these cards were packaged in cigarettes 100 years ago. She probably doesn’t even remember it now, but I assume that was the moment she fell in love with me. Or took pity on me and didn’t have the heart to dump me. Either way, I credit that card to helping me snag her.
So when I come across a player of that era with an interesting story, I try to find a way to get a card on the cheap off eBay. Trust me, the Cobb card was not cheap, and I had no business buying that thing. But that was years ago, and I’m glad I have it now.
Less painful a purchase was this Napoleon Lajoie card, although it dented my wallet as well. Like the Cobb card, I bought this one several years ago.
Napoleon was a superstar of the era. So much so, that when he was sent to the fledgling Cleveland franchise, he gave them instant credibility to the point where fans voted to change their team name to the Cleveland Naps. I also picked this card up because of his rivalry with Ty Cobb. If you aren’t familiar of the story of the famous “Chalmers” batting title race of 1909, here’s are some links: