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Ty Cobb Baseball Card Guide

Ty Cobb's Most Collectible and Valuable Baseball Cards: Tobacco, Caramel, & Others

1913 Ty Cobb portrait photo

The name Ty Cobb is synonymous with aggression, desire, and success.  He was also quite possibly the most feared player of the dead ball era.  No one knew exactly what he would do what he got on base.  The only thing for sure was the next base was his.  It was this determination which lead to his induction to the baseball hall of fame's inaugural class in 1936.  He career stretched from 1905 to 1928 and finished with a career batting average of .367, 4189 hits, 897 stolen bases, and 1933 RBIs.  He also hit over .400 in 3 different seasons.  

"The base paths belonged to me, the runner. The rules gave me the right. I always went into a bag full speed, feet first. I had sharp spikes on my shoes. If the baseman stood where he had no business to be and got hurt, that was his fault."

Ty Cobb is one of the most sought after players to collect from the pre-war era.  Here are some of the most collected and valuable playing days Ty Cobb cards:

1902 W600 Sporting Life Cabinets

w600 1902 Ty Cobb Rookie Cabinet

While W600 Sporting Life cabinets were issued over a period of many years (1902-1911), Ty Cobb was issued in 1907, his rookie year, and holds the distinction as one of the single most important cards within this landmark set. This cabinet is one of the rarest and most majestic of all Ty Cobb cards.  The image of Cobb used on the W600s is all the more noteworthy as it features the same pose as the popular T206 portrait cards (both red and green backgrounds).

1909-1911 T206 White Border Tobacco Cards

T206 Ty Cobb Red Portrait tobacco card
t206 Ty Cobb Bat on Shoulder tobacco card
t206 Ty Cobb Bat Off tobacco card
T206 Ty Cobb Green Portrait tobacco card

Ty Cobb was heavily featured on what is is arguable the most important and popular pre-war set of tobacco cards; 1909-11 T206.  Inserted in packs of tobacco, kids of the era were thrilled to find 4 different poses of Cobb.  All 4 are visually stunning.  The most common of the 4 is the "red portrait".  The "green portrait" uses the same image but is rarer and typically is the most valuable pose.  The  "bat on" pose features a yellow background and image of Cobb holding his bat on his left shoulder.  Finally, the "bat off" pose shows Cobb looking off into the distance with his bat off his shoulder.  The background appears to show green grass, a stadium, and the sky at sunset.  To make collecting even more challenging, the backs of the cards have different advertisements.  37 different backs, to be exact, including Piedmont, Sweet Caporal, Polar Bear, Sovereign, Hindu, Cycle, just to name a few.  

1911 T205 Gold Border 

1911 T205 Ty Cobb Tobacco Card

Another highly important and desirable set from packs of tobacco, the T205 stands out immediately due to the gold flaked borders and baseball diamond design.  Of course Ty Cobb is one of the most desirable cards in the set.  Higher grade examples are tough to come by, as the gold borders typically show chipping and flaking very easily. 

1911 T3 Turkey Red Cabinet

1911 Turkey Red Ty Cobb tobacco card cabinet

Turkey Red Cabinet card are larger than normal cards, as they were a premium issue not packaged with packs of tobacco.  In order for collectors to obtain this issue, one had to send in 10 coupons from Turkey Red brand cigarettes, or 25 coupons of Polar Bear or Fez brand cigarettes.  This is considered by many to be one Ty Cobb's most beautiful cards, as it looks more like a painting.  The bright colors and detail make this set impossible to miss.

1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack

1914 and 1914 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb Baseball Card

1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack cards are also extremely popular with collectors.  The striking red background stand out when compared to other issues.  All baseball fans know the popular song "Take me out to the ballgame" and of course the line "Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks".  No other set can be more tied to that song since these cards were actually included inside the box of Cracker Jacks.  Ty Cobb, along with Joe Jackson, are the key cards in this series.  It is not uncommon to see caramel stains on the front and back of the cards.  1914 is known to be harder to find, as the 1915 set had an option to redeem the entire set through redemption, thus not exposing the cards to the candy.  When it comes to 1914 vs. 1915 Cracker Jack Cobbs, the only difference is the text on the back of the card is upside down.  The front of the cards are identical. 

1909 Philadelphia Caramel

1909 E-90 Ty Cobb baseball card

1912 T207 Series Of Champions

t227 Ty Cobb Baseball Card

1911 M116 Sporting Life

1911 M116 Ty Cobb baseball card

1911-14 D304 General Baking Co.

D304 Ty Cobb Baseball card

If you have some Ty Cobb cards you are looking to sell, or need assistance trying to identify what you have, please reach out today! We buy any and all Ty Cobb baseball cards.

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