Ty Cobb Baseball Cards

T3-COBBAt the age of 18, Ty Cobb played his first MLB game with the Detroit Tigers just three weeks after his mother shot his father to death. This dichotomy characterized the career of the combative Cobb.

During his career, Cobb was portrayed as a racist with a quick temper and a giant mean streak. Current research has suggested that many accounts of his unpleasant behavior have been either exaggerated or fabricated entirely.

Whatever the true story may be, one thing is indisputable; at the time of his retirement, The Georgia Peach was considered the greatest baseball player who had ever played.

Cobb played 24 seasons and set close to 100 records in his professional career. When it came to hitting, Ty Cobb had no equal. His .367 lifetime average still stands as the highest BA in baseball history. He won 9 batting titles in a row and 12 in 13 years. The lone year the in that period that he didn’t win the title, he batted .371.

COLGAN-COBBHis career hits total of 4,191 held the Major League record for nearly 60 years until Pete Rose passed him in 1985. Cobb batted over .400 three times in his career and drove in almost 2000 runs. Of all his amazing batting achievements, it’s safe to say that no one will hit over .320 in 22 consecutive seasons or .368 or more in 11 straight seasons.

Cobb was also a terror on the base paths, driving pitchers, catchers and fielders to distraction (and even madness). Once on base (which was most of the time), opponents had to fear Cobb’s aggressive baserunning, replete with hard slides with his sharpened spikes headed their way.

Cobb was always looking for an edge and would frequently take advantage of his opponents’ inattention or lack of will. Five times in his career after reaching base, he stole second base, third base and home plate. His record of 892 stolen bases lasted almost 50 seasons before being surpassed by Lou Brock.

T206RED-COBBBecause of his overwhelming popularity and longevity, Cobb was featured on over 250 different trading cards during his career, 45 of which appear in the T206 White Border tobacco series. To be accurate, there are four different poses for Cobb in the landmark series; Portrait with Red Background, Portrait with Green Background, Bat On Shoulder and Bat Off Shoulder.

However, when taking into account back variations based on the brand of tobacco, the number climbs to 45. By far, the most valuable variety is the Portrait Red Background with the “Ty Cobb King of the Smoking Tobacco World” back. Valued well over $100,000, even in poor condition, fewer than 20 of these are known to exist.

The Red Portrait pose (which is one of the most stunning baseball cards ever produced) is available in no fewer than 19 different back varieties. The Red Portrait can be found with American Beauty, Broadleaf (350 or 460 subjects), Carolina Brights, Cycle (350 or 460 subjects),, Drum El Principe De Gales, Hindu, Lenox (Black or Brown), Old Mill, Piedmont, Polar Bear, Sweet Caporal, Sovereign, Tolstoi, Uzit and the super rare Ty Cobb back.

The Bat Off Shoulder can be found in 16 different versions, while the Bat on Shoulder and Green Portrait are available with five each. No true card collection is complete without a T206 Ty Cobb.

T202-COBBCobb is also prominently featured in the T202 Mecca Triple Folder set with five different cards. Of the five, the two “Ty Cobb Steals Third” varieties are the most desirable.

Featuring the legendary Charles Conlon photo of Cobb stirring up a cloud of dust on his way to the Hot Corner, the black and white image is flanked by a color portrait of Cobb on one side and his manager, Hall of Famer Hugh Jennings on the other. The card is also available with George Moriarty instead of Jennings.

E106-COBBAfter his multitude of tobacco card appearances, Cobb was the go-to star in all of the major candy releases of the day. This includes the prominent (and gorgeous) color Caramel and candy issues; 1909 E90-1 American Caramel, 1909 E92 Croft’s Candy and Nadja Candy, E103 Williams Caramels (same pose as the T206 Red Portrait), E95 Philadelphia Caramel, 1914 & 1915 Cracker Jack and 1915 E106 American Caramel (two poses) as well as the rather bland black & white Caramel issues; the 1921 & 1922 American Caramel E120, E121 and E122, the 1927 E126 American Caramels and the E210 1927 York Caramels.

Cobb’s career also coincided with the release of the then-popular strip cards. Cobb was the subject on 22 different ones including the W555, W-UNC and W515 to name a few.

Released just a few years after his retirement, Cobb’s 1932 U.S. Caramel and 1933 Goudey Sport Kings cards are also immensely popular with collectors.

Three years later, Cobb found himself back in the public eye, not on a baseball card but as part of the first induction class of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Cobb was the number one vote getter with a higher percentage than even Babe Ruth.

Cobb was a complex man, revered by some and despised by others. He was even referenced in the 1989 movie classic Field of Dream. While marveling at the array of deceased baseball stars playing on the Iowa field, Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) quips “Ty Cobb wanted to play, but none of us could stand the son-of-a-bitch when we were alive, so we told him to stick it!”

The paradox is that in real life, Jackson and Cobb were actually friends. Whether in movies or real life, Cobb remains a complex man with a complex legacy.

If you have any Ty Cobb baseball cards (produced between 1902 and 1963) to sell or any items on our baseball buy list, PLEASE CONTACT Mark Rubin at 914-725-2225 or via email at mark@amerlegends.com. A quick phone call is all it takes to get started.