View Full Version : 1910's era Minor League Auto Cards.

02-18-2016, 11:04 AM
No sadly none to report. Which has me wondering why there are not any of these cards around. Specifically T206,T209,T210 cards. One would think with the abundance of these cards around at the time in the local clubs area there would be a few cards signed. I know alot of these players came and left quickly in some instances but some players were around on the same team for awhile. Dutch Revelle for example spent 4+ years in Richmond home to big tobacco. Im sure local fans had his card. Was it taboo to ask for players autographs at the time?

In my head I picture minor league games of my youth all the way up to todays experience at a ML park. The players are always willing to sign. Maybe it just wasnt the same back then seeing as the players were known to be a tougher, rowdy bunch. Maybe not as fan friendly.

640 T210, 220+ T209. Anyone ever seen one autographed?

02-18-2016, 11:21 AM
Good question Jason I have no clue myself.

I think that the Minors back then were probably drastically different than they are now. I don't think many of those players ever had any indication that they would be playing anywhere but in the minors.

I'm not sure what the norm back then was on autographs but I imagine the players probably played and took things as serious as ML players did. Interestingly enough some of these guys had some pretty great Minor League careers:

Harry Krause 293 wins
Doc Crandall 249 wins
Joe McGinnity 231 wins (in addition to his 246 ML wins!)
Rube Kisinger 205 wins

Bunk Congalton 2,169 hits and 77 known HR
Roy Brashear 2,061 hits
Fred Beck 1,876 hits along with 166 known HRs
Peter Cassidy 1,808

02-18-2016, 12:27 PM
Great question and I have pondered as well in the past. I am thinking that Minor league players back in the day were more apt to sign a ball, or a scorecard, piece of paper, etc. Also, I think when you speak of the series T209 and T210, and their relative scarcity, I bet there wasn't many of the player cards necessarily in their home town area. I think of how few there are today, and perhaps those issues were in packs at different locations all over the East/South. I would even venture a guess, that some of the players had no clue they even had a card.

I think a good clue may be to look at the Major league guys in T206 and how scant few auto's there are of those players. Then deduce it down to Southern Association, and even further scarcity of a T210 compared to T206 and you would have very little chance of ever finding one.

For me, I just don't think those T209's, T210's were readily available for say a kid to run up to a Southern Leaguer and ask for auto on the T210 as an example. My guess is the cards might have resided more in other locations.

I would love to find one, own one, but when I can only find in 15+ years of searching for a Harry Cohen from the Nashville Vols - 1910 T210-8, 2-3 examples known, then I am guessing Mr. Cohen didn't ever see his own card either. :D

02-18-2016, 12:47 PM
The main issue is that in my experience 98% of signed pre-war cards were signed post war, specifically after Ritter's research and book (and a majority of those period pieces that make up the remaining 2% are goudey's, play ball's, arcade cards, and premiums released later in the 30's and 40's.) The lack of signed minor league tobacco cards is no different then the lack of major league pieces from the same era - it just wasn't the norm to have one do so. I'd much rather expect a signed Mathewson t206 to be floating in the world than a Scoops Carey because his stars were obviously brighter, but the fact of the matter is that none exist. By the time most of known signed tobacco were autographed (late 40's to early 50's I'd estimate), most minor league subjects had either passed away or faded away to obscurity with time. Are there some out there? Possibly, but they would be rare birds.

02-18-2016, 12:49 PM
I would think cards were used more for through the mail autographs not in person.

02-18-2016, 04:17 PM
Do postcards count as cards?

<a href="http://s22.photobucket.com/user/nudan92/media/1878-1946%20Lincoln%20Baseball/tomasonauto.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/1878-1946%20Lincoln%20Baseball/tomasonauto.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo tomasonauto.jpg"/></a>

I know your question is about 1910 era cards, but I have a near complete set of 1952 Globe Printing Colorado Springs Sky Sox that are autographed. Clearly by the 1950s autograph collecting of sports stars was much more prevalent than it was in 1910.

02-18-2016, 05:07 PM
I know your question is about 1910 era cards, but I have a near complete set of 1952 Globe Printing Colorado Springs Sky Sox that are autographed. Clearly by the 1950s autograph collecting of sports stars was much more prevalent than it was in 1910.

I wonder if the method of distribution makes a difference. I know smoking was a lot more prevalent in 1910 than now, but I have a hard time imagining 10-14 year old boys lighting up. Even if they were, a when a five cent pack of cigarettes yields one card, and a nickle pack of Bowmans or Topps gives 5 or 6, I can see it being easier for cards from then to circulate and get signed than the tobacco issues.

02-18-2016, 05:38 PM
Here is an interesting article from the 1909 Raleigh Times:


02-18-2016, 08:43 PM
Great feedback everyone. Def some good points and thoughts to ponder.

J, thats an interesting theory about some players not even knowing they had a card. I can see that being true with all the players who have a card and no known stats with the designated team. Thanks for all the info you have shared about the set you are a true T210 expert in my book.

02-18-2016, 08:44 PM
Dan, That Postcard is awesome! It has the look of a T209-2. Love the background on that one. Do you have the whole set scanned somewhere that I could check out?

02-18-2016, 09:10 PM
I have never scanned the set, but I do have crappy cell phone pics of it. :D

02-18-2016, 09:23 PM
I've been wondering about this card for awhile now. I saw this letter on e-bay written by Steen, and I am just not sure if the signature is the same. I posted on the autograph page, but got no replies. I don't mean to hijack your thread, I am just wondering about this one. Of course, I hope it is auto'ed.

02-18-2016, 09:25 PM
Dan, that set looks great! JW Porter is still alive and signs TTM; PM me if you'd like his address.

That's an interesting article. My other theory was that fans in 1910 might have had difficulty tracking down addresses for the minor league teams, and home addresses for the players. Without the internet, Smalling's/Meiselman's address lists, and networks like autograph collectors clubs, sending out autograph requests must've been a real chore.

02-18-2016, 10:45 PM
Here's my only signed Minor League T206...

<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/w9R1wCYwqw1aLwOMlDDnNDiJm_Z5QsNdec5_I7WHZRE?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lU_hH5HeBT8/TZaKVGZSjKI/AAAAAAAAgzc/JMUXu2b2KB4/s800-Ic42/Blackburne_Auto_SGC50.JPG" height="633" width="800" /></a>

02-18-2016, 11:47 PM
I dig the Auto PC, Dan! The Minor League Lena is very interesting as well. (When did he sign that card?)

Here is my 1909 Cabinet autographed by Tony Tonneman. (Catcher for Nashville) & coresponding Reach/Spalding guide team photo's with Tony in them. Tony played for the Red Sox for a few games in 1911.