Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1911 T3 Turkey Red Baseball #5, Sam Crawford

This card shows "Wahoo Sam" playing catch with someone off-panel, but folks in those days knew him as a top-tier batsman. Crawford started playing in the 19th century, before parks used outfield fences consistently, so power hitters often placed among the leaders in triples, a skill modern fans associate more with speed. (No fences meant no automatic homers back then--batters had to hit the ball deep and run it out.)

Card front

Collectors know these artful 6" x 8" cards by three terms: T3s (catalog number), Turkey Reds (associated tobacco brand), and, more generally, "cabinet cards" (for their large and presentable size). This bigger surface meant more chances for damage--note several dings and marks on its "frame"--but there's no denying their appeal. I'd even call them "classy."

Card back

Turkey Red backs show the entire checklist, a mixture of baseball players, on-field action shots, and pro boxers. Individual panels start around $100 and HOFers cost much more, so building a complete set takes real money and dedication.

Value: Low-grade Crawford cards run a few hundred dollars, given his HOF status and popularity with Detroit fans.

Fakes / reprints: Several T3 reprints exist and there's no doubt people faked the most valuable stars. Modern companies also adapted the painted look for 21st century players, one of the best throwback designs to choose from.

3 comments:

Chris Stufflestreet said...

There have also been reprints of the T3 set done in the modern 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 inch size as well. I still get the occasional query through my website about them.

Mark A. said...

This set is one of the "great whales" that I'd love to land a specimen from.

Call me Ishmael.

Matthew Glidden said...

Plenty of beautiful cards in the set, too. My favorite name's "Knock-out Brown" and he happens to be one of the cheapest T3s on eBay right now.

Knock-out Brown (SGC authentic)