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  #1  
Old 03-17-2007, 05:11 PM
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Default T206 Wagner-Theory

Posted By: Dave Hornish

I seem to be in an SCD frame of mind this week. There is an auction ad for the Steve Myland collection in the current issue and one of offered items is a 1909 Honus Wagner Cigar label (actually three different ones). The round and rectangular versions have Honus' likeness on them and it resembles the famous Carl Horner image that was the basis for so many photos of Wagner. I'm sure many of you have seen these before.

This got me thinking (always dangerous) along two lines:

1) Honus did not object to tobacco use, only cigarettes (since he was hawking cigars). Or,

2) It was not a problem with Honus but rather a problem with the rights to the Horner image that caused his T206 card to be pulled. It's possible this could explain Plank's yanking as well. I am not sure if the Plank portrait is by Horner but no matter-someone owned the copyright to it. Maybe it took the copyright holder or the licensee time to figure out what was going on before demanding ATC withdraw the card(s).

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Dave

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  #2  
Old 03-17-2007, 05:28 PM
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Posted By: boxingcardman

I always theorized that he refused the offer to use his likeness for financial reasons but couched it in other terms so as to not appear to be greedy. Being crass about publicity rights wasn't really in vogue until a generation later.

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  #3  
Old 03-17-2007, 05:29 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

DAVE

Wagner loved cigars all his life. The 1955 Pirates Yearbook has a picture of him with a lit cigar
in his hand.


Regarding Eddie Plank, very recently we had a lengthy Thread on the theory of his T206 card.

Plank theory link......

http://www.network54.com/Forum/153652/message/1166484149/My+T206+Plank+theory

TED Z

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  #4  
Old 03-17-2007, 05:31 PM
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Default T206 Wagner-Theory

Posted By: peter chao

Guys,

Also, I love Honus' 1949 Leaf card, it pictures Honus as a coach with a big chaw of tobacco in his mouth.

Peter

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  #5  
Old 03-17-2007, 06:22 PM
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Posted By: Mark L

As I understand it, the Wagner family explained that he objected to the card because he did not want kids buying cigarettes to get his picture. This claim is consistent with a contemporary article cited in Scott Readerís erudite work on the t206: There is Oct. 12, 1912 Sporting News article which says that Wagner asked the ATC to withdraw the card because ďhe did not care to have his picture in a package of cigarettes." There is a further anecdote floating around that that Wagner reimbursed Pirate secretary John Gruber ten bucks for the money that Gruber had made (but subsequently lost) selling Wagnerís photo to the ATC. Iíve heard that Gruber framed the check. (don't know why he would). Anyway, I donít see anything in this general account that is manifestly untenable. What evidence do we have against it? It is true that Wagner smoked cigars. Maybe he was even willing to put his picture on a cigar band. Of course, he chewed tobacco. But the account given out by the Wagner family doesnít claim that he was anti-tobacco but only that he didnít like seeing kids chasing baseball cards in every pack of Piedmonts. And since he was the biggest star in baseball from 1909-11, he might have imagined that kids were buying packs for his card in particular. If Wagner were famous for being a miser or a shrewd businessman, I would find the cynicism a little more reasonable. But címon, he was famous for being friendly with kids. Doesnít someone say in Glory of Their Times that after a Pirate game Wagner could be sometimes be found playing baseball with the neighborhood kids? Anyway, I'd like to see the incriminating evidence, the smoking gun, as it were, that indicates that the old story is unlikely.

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  #6  
Old 03-17-2007, 08:30 PM
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Posted By: Corey R. Shanus

I think Mark L says it very well, and I agree. Furthermore, if the reason he doesn't appear in T-card issues is because he wasn't offered enough money, one would think it plausible he would have had the same problem with candy card issuers, yet he appears in E-card issues. Bottom line is I guess we'll never know for sure, but if I was a betting man I would put my money on the theory that he simply didn't want his image to promote children to smoke.

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  #7  
Old 03-17-2007, 09:48 PM
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Posted By: JimB

I agree with Mark and Corey.
JimB

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  #8  
Old 03-17-2007, 11:18 PM
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Posted By: bob beyerle

Wagner Did NOT want to promote tobacco use to kids period. Money was no issue. The amounts talked about are negligible to what he gave away on a regular basis. I drink beer but that doesn't mean I want my image used to promote alcohol use to kids. Why all the Wagner E cards? Did the candy companies have more cash to give the "greedy" Wagner? People who think it was a money issue are projecting their own greed and selfishness on one of the most selfless superstars in American Sports history. Go read a few books before stating your guesses and opinions.

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  #9  
Old 03-17-2007, 11:28 PM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

Thanks Ted Z, I indeed read the Plank thread when it was running and found it very informative. I guess I've been mulling it ever since. I find Wagner and Plank in T206 to be curiouser and curiouser and a couple of others less so but still interesting. The mystery part is great: possible deception on the non Sweet Cap poses for Plank and Wagner violates the primacy of Piedmont theory, which I subscribe to (as do the St Louis variations of Demmitt and O'Hara, of course). Could Plank have replaced Wagner on whatever sheet Honus was originally on before being pulled as well? Why did this even matter to the ATC and American Litho? Great stuff, these questions.

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  #10  
Old 03-18-2007, 09:29 AM
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Posted By: MVSNYC

"The mystery part is great: possible deception on the non Sweet Cap poses for Plank and Wagner violates the primacy of Piedmont theory, which I subscribe to (as do the St Louis variations of Demmitt and O'Hara, of course)."

dave- can you clarify/expand on this sentence, it looses me a little bit.

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  #11  
Old 03-18-2007, 11:13 AM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

Re "The mystery part is great: possible deception on the non Sweet Cap poses for Plank and Wagner violates the primacy of Piedmont theory, which I subscribe to (as do the St Louis variations of Demmitt and O'Hara, of course)."


Yes, re-reading it is does not make 100% sense (typed it very late last nite). I'm trying to get a further discussion going on these and was riffing on the Wagner being a Sweet Cap back (assuming the Piedmonts are cut from a sheet)and so it is with Plank too (I think-I have to go re-read that thread). Plank also has 2 Sweet Cap Factories on back in addition to the 350 back (I forget if the argument on the 350 back is that it's from a sheet) which is weird for a scarce short print and noted many times previously here and elsewhere. Demmitt & O'Hara St. L variations are of course, Polar Bear only. The deception wording refers to the uncut sheet of unknown provenance. If I have any of this wrong please post a correction.

So why do 4 cards (assuming Plank is Sweet Cap only) not fall into the main pattern of Piedmont primacy? I think way too much about T206 sometimes......

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  #12  
Old 03-18-2007, 11:42 AM
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Posted By: MVSNYC

thanks dave, that helps clarify that some more...this is a very interesting topic. i do own both the demmitt & o'hara cards, and am also fascinated with the whole "polar bear only" issue. let's try to keep this thread going.

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  #13  
Old 03-18-2007, 11:43 AM
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Posted By: dennis

ok lets hear what others think. i always wondered why there is no difinitive answer for the card being (pulled) (since wagner lived to almost 1956) why is there no quotes from him about the t206. the card was i believe famous even back then? and the second question is why is honus brother nicknamed butts? as in cigarette butts?

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  #14  
Old 03-18-2007, 01:52 PM
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Posted By: Mike

Maybe the reason the Demmitt and O'Hara cards where issued only by Polar Bear is because the factory form which they where issued was very close to St. Louis. Thus, they wanted to contiue to feature St. Louis players instead of the update New York versions. Just a possibility...
Mike in Michigan
MM

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  #15  
Old 03-18-2007, 02:00 PM
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Posted By: Mark L

I'd like to know more about when the general public aware of the rarity of the Wagner card. It was known to be rare among collectors when I started collecting more than thirty years ago but when did real people pay attention?

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  #16  
Old 03-18-2007, 02:05 PM
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Posted By: davidcycleback

The Wagner was singled out and priced as one of the key baseball card rarities as far back as the 1930s. So it's gotten special hobby attention for a long time. Of course in 1935, a baseball card being priced as a key rarity means it cost a quarter.

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  #17  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:10 PM
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Posted By: dennis

1935, a quarter was a quarter back then! a weeks wage. also wagner was a big star(perhaps the biggest) and only 1 pose, while all the other big names have at least 2. if card was pulled for pic rites there would be a different pose or 2.too bad they didn't put out a couple more poses asap. so i guess he either wanted more money or objected to cigs. but ok for cigars and chew...kinda strange imo

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  #18  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:27 PM
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Posted By: davidcycleback

I'm going to tell my grandkids, "Back in my day you could get a PSA8 Wagner for under $2 million." And the grandkids will say, "No way. Did you have electricity back then?"

My 95 year old neighbor is going blind. He used to watch television, but can only listen to it now. He's says it's kind of neat, as it's just like listening to the radio years ago. Obviously, he's a glass half full type of guy ... He's a big sports fan and was surprised to find out a youngster like me knew who Mickey Mantle and Don Drysdale were. Nice thing for a a 95 year old sports fan, there's almost always a live game to listen to.

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  #19  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:54 PM
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Posted By: dennis

mark l i guess it would be when gretsky bought the card in the late 80's.

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  #20  
Old 03-18-2007, 05:04 PM
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Posted By: Mark L

If I recall, my late edition American Card Catalog lists the Wagner at $50. I wonder when that was the going rate. I know that by the early 70's people were offering as much as five thousand for one.

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  #21  
Old 03-18-2007, 11:23 PM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

Interestingly, someone just posted a T213-2 of Demmitt in the Pickup Thread (sorry to hijack your scan James!).



There is no corresponding Coupon O'Hara but the St. Louis uni is evidence of the St. L variation existing beyond T206 which three or four years earlier. Now vintagecardprices.com and the Standard catalog shows Demmitt NY uni as a variation while Lipset does not (presumably the NY variation was unknown in the hobby when the BB Card Encyclopedia was issued). I do not have visuals on the Coupons but why on earth are both versions of Demmitt in the Coupon issue? Plus, his team caption on both Coupons is said to be Chicago Amer. (no indication of Detroit where he started out the 1914 season).

Were Type 2 Coupons issued in more than 1 year? And how do they print both the NY and ST. L uni's if not, despite NY being his 1909 team? How do both designs end up in the Type 2 Coupons?! Are they both on the same sheet? Damned strange.

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  #22  
Old 03-20-2007, 01:26 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

I have some info on Demmitt and O'Hara and will soon post it separately.

TED Z

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  #23  
Old 03-20-2007, 01:28 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

RE:.....your post 3/17 7:28 AM.....

Since, I am the originator of the "Piedmont Primacy" theory (as Barry Arnold coined it).....I find it to be quite
paradoxical that the majority of the Wagner's found are with Sweet Caporal 150 Factory 25 backs, rather
than with Piedmont 150. And, 98% of the Plank's found from the 1st Series are also Sweet Cap. Fac. 25.

The actual printing of the T206 cards was done by American Lithograph in New York and the Piedmont brand
(in every Series) appears to be the first out in the market; and, more available than the other brands.

The key here, though, is to focus on Factory 25, 2nd District (Virginia)......where Piedmont 150, followed by
Sweet Cap 150/25, and then some time later, Sovereign 150 cards were included in cigarette packs. Most of
the 156 cards in the 1st Series are available with all these backs. Followed by the Sweet Caporal 150/30 and
Hindu....both from NY Factories. And, of course Wagner and Plank.
The exceptions are Jennings (portrait), Lundgren (Cubs), and Magie....that are found as 1st series cards only
with Piedmont 150 backs. And, obviously, Wagner and Plank.

So, the Wagner and the Plank cards having primarily Sweet Cap backs are a mystery to me. Perhaps, it can be
explained that the Piedmont factory employees were slow to insert Honus Wagner cards in their packs; while,
the Sweet Cap employees were faster in doing so....until the "Wagner edict" forced them to stop.

TED Z

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  #24  
Old 03-20-2007, 06:09 PM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

TED Z....

I just got the T206 Superset spreadsheet and am working through it. I find all the 109 card series in the 460/Assorted groups interesting among many other things on there. I wonder if the missing Plank would have made these true 110 card series, which would make sense given the 350-460 backs.

I am also wondering if Piedmont might have been printed after Sweet Cap 25 in the first press run, or printed first and delayed until needed for distribution. Piedmont Wagner's then pulled by hand are one theory, with just a few escaping into the packs (or all they all hand cut?). I want to look at the "rule-breakers" on the superset spreadsheet when I have a bit more time as I think the data might yield some further clues (even answers).

Well, T206 theories are like owning a house; there is always something to do!

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  #25  
Old 03-20-2007, 09:33 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

Just a reminder from the Thread which I first posed the "Piedmont 1st" theory....The Magie and Doyle errors
pretty well reveal to us this certainty....as they only exist as P150 and P350 cards, respectively.

Otherwise, Magie and Doyle would also exist with Sweet Cap - Factory 25 backs......and, then it would be
anyone's guess as to which was first.

TED Z

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