CSG Certifies Two Ty Cobb Tobacco Cards

Posted on 2/3/2022

Produced by the American Tobacco Company in the early 1900s, the cards showcase the Tigers’ legendary outfielder.

The name Ty Cobb is synonymous with greatness. Baseball was built on the backs of men like Cobb, and naturally, as baseball cards exploded in popularity, the images of players such as him were an essential part of that growth.

Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) graded two interesting Ty Cobb cards from the early 1900s. Together, the cards highlight the unique nature of early sports card collecting.

The first card is a 1909 S74 Silks Ty Cobb card, with original backing still attached, that received a CSG 2.5. The silk card image resembles the image later used for the T205 set. Collectors were encouraged, according to the back of the card, to remove the satin from the paper back. Water could be applied if necessary to help in this removal. Thankfully for this collector, that never happened.

Click images to enlarge.

Produced by the American Tobacco Company, the backs of these cards could feature several different tobacco brands, such as Helmar, Old Mill (pictured), Red Sun and Turkey Red. The cards also vary widely in size as a result of the way they were cut. The set is unusual too because it features actresses alongside the baseball players. In fact, the set is titled, “Base Ball-Actress Series on Satin.”

The second card is a 1911 T205 Gold Border #36 Ty Cobb. The card received a grade of 2.5 along with sub-grades of 6 for Centering, 2 for Corners, 4.5 for Edges and 4 for Surface. The card features Cobb’s portrait inside of a red diamond on a green background surrounded by the iconic gold border.

Click images to enlarge.

Also produced by American tobacco, the famous T205 set and later versions are still one of the most sought after and difficult baseball card sets to complete. Numerous card and branding variations mean that a collector must find over 220 different cards to complete what is known as a Master Set.

About Ty Cobb

Tyrus “Ty” Cobb played over 23 season in major league baseball and is widely cited as having set 90 records during his career. Cobb finished with a career batting average of .367 according to MLB, 12 batting titles and 4,191 career hits. He was inducted into the initial class of the Baseball Hall of Fame with 98.2% of the vote.

Cobb changed the way players approached their salaries with teams. He was a money-wise player that sought endorsements and invested his earnings, famously making more money on his investment in Coca-Cola than he ever did playing baseball. Cobb will always be counted among baseball’s all-time greatest players, and his cards will continue to be sought after by collectors.

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