In 1913, baseball fans had something different to collect. Fatima tobacco issued team cards with its products; eight National and eight American League teams. Today, they’re among the most iconic pre-War tobacco sets and we knew when we posted several of them in our weekly eBay listings that they’d generate tremendous response.
We were right!
Bidding is intense on what’s referred to as the T200 series and it’s no wonder. The cards feature some of the most iconic players in the history of baseball including the Cleveland card that shows Shoeless Joe Jackson and the amazing New York Giants card that features both Christy Mathewson and Jim Thorpe. Johnny Evers, Frank Chance, Tris Speaker and even a young Casey Stengel adorn the various cards.
Not only that, but Fatima cards are scarce. In all, barely more than 1,000 in total have ever been graded by PSA. Dare we say the quantity of each that exists is almost “Wagneresque”. Fewer than 100 of each appear on PSA’s Population Report. Even factoring in other companies, that simply doesn’t leave many high grade examples to go around and we’re fortunate to have some of the best to come on the market in awhile.
Measuring 2 5/8” x 4 ¾” in size, they are susceptible to wear. The PSA Set Registry shows only a few sets graded at even the VG-EX level or better across the board. It’s believed they were placed face up inside an oblong sized tin of cigarettes and the thin paper made them instantly susceptible to wear.
There are 369 individuals on the 16 cards including managers and even a couple of mascots. It’s quite a photographic record of the 1913 season.
Some are more difficult to find than others including two we have—the Boston Nationals and New York Americans cards are highly sought after.