Exceptional T3 and T9 Turkey Red Cabinet Collection Coming to the Block

High-grade Cabinets Among Highlights of January/February Sale

LOTG T3 Turkey Red JossGREAT MEADOWS, NJ, Jan. 9, 2013 – Love of the Game Auctions, an internet-based sports auction house catering to the passionate collector of memorabilia and cards, announced today that it has received a consignment consisting of more than 100 Turkey Red cabinet cards from the T3 and T9 boxing sets of 1910-11.

The cards, many of which are among the highest-graded copies available, will be spread across Love of the Game Auctions’ Winter and Spring sales.  Relatively fresh to the hobby, the majority of these extraordinary cabinet cards have been part of a large prewar baseball collection for more than 30 years.

“These cabinets are the nicest I’ve seen in 30 years in the hobby,” said Auction Director Al Crisafulli.  “Even the lower-grade cards are clean, with color and gloss that’s almost impossible to believe.  They look like brand-new cards, and really capture what T3s must have looked like at their time of issue.”

The Turkey Red tobacco set was issued by the American Tobacco Company in 1910 and 1911, as premiums that were redeemable in exchange for coupons.  The set consists of 100 baseball players (with a number of variations) as well as 26 boxers, including the most popular athletes of the time in both sports.  The cards are widely considered among the most beautiful and artistic ever produced.

LOTG T3 Turkey Red Speaker

Each card, regardless of grade, will be offered as an individual lot.  “Offering them individually was an easy decision.  This is not a set that was assembled by a registry collector, looking to obtain the highest-grade copy.  It was a set assembled by a collector who was searching for the greatest possible eye appeal.  New-looking cards.  The entire hobby should have a shot at owning one of these, and selling them as a single set or in groups will make them unaffordable.”

Crisafulli added that the most difficult thing about preparing LOTG’s next auction has been writing the descriptions of these cards.  “Cards that grade technically lower – 3s and 4s – often look like 7s, but have a small flaw that reduces the technical grade,” he said.  “The original gloss and color on these cards is amazing.  Our challenge is to properly describe just how special they are.”

LOTG T3 Turkey Red Mathewson

The company will feature 25 of the Turkey Red cabinet cards in its winter auction, slated to open the week of January 14.  The remainder will be featured in the company’s spring sale, with many displayed in Love of the Game’s booth at the Philly Show in Valley Forge in early March.

Bidding for Love of the Game’s January/February 2013 auction will remain open until February 2.  For more information on Love of the Game and how to become a bidder or consignor, visit the company’s website at loveofthegameauctions.com.

LOTG T3 Turkey Red Burns

We’ve got high-grade, too.

Between the two auctions we’ve prepared thus far, we’ve offered some tremendous T206 rarities and shared them with you here on this blog.  However, a type of rarity we haven’t spent a lot of time covering is the condition rarity: those cards that remain in impossibly high grade after more than 100 years.

High-grade T206 cards continue to command high premiums in the hobby, as more and more collectors flock to the set due to its popularity and the many different ways of collecting it.  Condition is a rarity unto itself with T206 – as of this writing, nearly a quarter million T206s have been graded between PSA and SGC, and just 3.8% of those have attained a grade of NMT or better.  In our February auction, we’re proud to offer a number of cards that fall into this top 96% of all graded T206s.

1910 T206 White Front

The highest-grade of the group is this “Pitching” pose of “Doc” White.  Doc was somewhat of a renaissance man among deadball era players, as he was also a songwriter, publishing four songs with his co-writer (and author), Ring Lardner.  This card, a stunning example with incredible sharpness and boldness has a slightly off-centered image that is the only thing keeping it out of an even higher holder.  Of nearly 85,000 T206 cards to have been graded by SGC, just 18 individual cards have been graded higher.  In addition, just 27 cards have attained a grade of 92.  That means this White card places in the top .05% of all T206 cards to have ever been graded by SGC.

1909 T206 Williams Front

This Jimmy Williams is another knockout, a NM-MT card that is one of just two Williams cards graded at this level by PSA, with only one higher.  The card depicts Browns outfielder Williams in the final season of his 11-year major league career.  One of the most stunning and likely the nicest Williams in the hobby, centering-wise, features a Piedmont 150 back.

1909 T206 Barbeau

Despite playing just four seasons in the majors, “Jap” Barbeau played 13 seasons in the American Association and Pacific Coast League, belting 1,463 lifetime hits.  Pictured here with St. Louis, where Barbeau spent two seasons as a part-time third baseman, this card is stunning in its clarity and crispness.  Graded NM/MT by SGC, this card is the only one of just 162 T206 Barbeaus with any of nine back varieties to grade NM/MT with SGC.  In fact, no Barbeau has graded higher with PSA, either, as this is one of just two Piedmont Barbeaus to grade this high (PSA has graded a Sweet Caporal an 8 as well).

1909 T206 Dorner Front

The high-grade parade continues with Gus Dorner, pictured at the tail end of his career with the Kansas City Blues of the American Association.  This stunning example of Dorner boasts four sharp corners and stunning color, the highest-graded Piedmont T206 example on record with PSA and one of just two Dorners they’ve graded this high (SGC has also graded three).  PSA has not graded a T206 Dorner at this level with any other back, meaning this is one of just two PSA 8 Dorners currently available in the hobby.

1909 T206 Steinfeldt Front

Gorgeous, bold, and well-centered, this example of Harry Steinfeldt’s T206 portrait card boasts particularly large borders (a “jumbo” Steinfeldt?).  It is also the only example out of 280 Harry Steinfeldt cards (both the portrait and “with bat” variation) to grade this high.  In other words, if you want an example of Steinfeldt’s T206 currently graded NM/MT, between SGC and PSA, this is the only one available to you.

1909 T206 Downey Front

This example of Reds infielder Tom Downey, also graded NM/MT 8 by PSA due to its brilliant borders and vivid color, is one of the most beautiful T206 cards you will ever see.  This one is one of very few Downey cards to attain a grade this high, with none besting it.  Currently, this is the only T206 Downey (fielding) with a Piedmont back to have been graded this high by PSA, though an additional three have been graded with “unknown back” (prior to the days of PSA recognizing back varieties in their cards.

1909 T206 Devore Front1910 T206 Donlin Front

We also have two examples of T206 cards graded NMT 7, one each by PSA and SGC.  This example of Josh Devore is as nice as you’ll find in the hobby, graded Near Mint by PSA, with nearly perfect centering and four razor sharp corners.  The card is bright and bold. Between PSA and SGC combined, just eight examples have graded higher than this Devore (six with PSA and two with SGC).  The card of “Turkey” Mike Donlin, with sharp corners, vivid color and just a touch of a centering issue that keeps it out of a higher holder, is graded Near Mint by SGC.  One of just nine cards to have graded this high between PSA and SGC, just two have graded higher.

We’re thrilled to offer such an excellent collection of T206 high-grade rarities in our upcoming auction.

The Christian Gentleman

1910 M116 Matty FrontAside from perhaps Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, no deadball era player is more popular and widely collected than Christy Mathewson. The most famous product of Factoryville, Pennsylvania, Mathewson attended Bucknell University and pitched for minor league teams in Honesdale and Meridian before signing to play in the New England League.  By 1900 he was in the majors, establishing himself as one of the premier pitchers in baseball, notably with his legendary performance in the 1905 World Series, where he led the Giants by pitching three shutouts in the seven-game series.

Across Matty’s 17-year career he amassed 373 victories and a minuscule earned run average of just 2.13.  His character and general demeanor made him well-liked throughout baseball and even more so among fans; prior to Babe Ruth, Matty was one of the game’s biggest stars, and remains so today.

1909 S74 Matty Front1909-11 T206 Matty front

We are thrilled to have an excellent representation of Mathewson cards in our next auction, beginning with the beautiful M116 Sporting Life card you see above.  Also represented are two examples from the Rudy Strejc Collection – his classic T206 “Dark Cap” version (which has been trimmed at the borders like many of the other T206s in the Strejc Collection), and a beautiful S74 Silk.


Also part of the Strejc Collection is Mathewson’s E98 – a strong but collector-grade example with excellent eye appeal for the grade.

1910 E98 Matty Front

This T213 Coupon Cigarettes Matty is a stunningly beautiful example, with tremendous color and clarity.  The thin gloss coating on the T213s makes the color appear much more bold than the identical image on Mathewson’s T206.  The reverse of the T213 is clear and striking as well, making this a very attractive card.1914 T213 Matty Front

We’re also featuring several other caramel issues of Mathewson, from the E95 and E102 sets, both represented here.

1909 E95 Matty Front1908 E102 Matty Front

Lastly, we’ve got a stunning T3 Turkey Red cabinet of Matty, easily the most valuable card in this group.  The T3 is part of a large collection of gorgeous T3s that we’ll be telling you about this week, which will be featured in our next two auctions.  Mathewson’s iconic T3 image is likely the Hall of Fame pitcher’s best-known, and the card itself is stunning, with a ding to the lower right corner keeping the card out of a much higher holder.


We’re thrilled to have such a diverse assortment of Mathewson cards in our upcoming auction – stay tuned, it’s going to be a great one.