The 1911 T5 Pinkerton Cabinets are one of those sets that seem to elude many collectors. The cards are tough, very tough in fact. Recently, a private collector with 49 of these tobacco branded cabinets decided to part with his treasures. Included in the massive lot of items are examples of the infamous Shoeless Joe Jackson (pictured) as well as Hall of Famers like Christy Mathewson, Cy Young, Napoleon “Nap” Lajoie, and Eddie Plank. Luckily, every collector has the chance to acquire one of these hobby gems as the group has been put up for sale by Hunt Auctions in their current auction.
Produced in 1911 and designated as the T5 set in the American Card Catalog, these sepia toned photographs were mounted on cardboard stock that measures roughly 4-¾” by 7-¾”. While the mounts are often grey, the cards also appear against a tan background. For that matter, you can find non-mounted examples with some frequency. In those instances, it is possible to find the cards with postcard or scorecard backings.
The cards themselves feature various baseball stars in the midst of playing their favorite game (or at least the one they were most likely best at). At the bottom of each image, you will find the player name along with the designated card number, their position, and their team at the time of issue. More on the find and the cards themselves after the jump!
The process for obtaining these images was via a redemption system. Produced by the Pinkerton Tobacco Company, the forefather of Red Man Tobacco, customers would collect 10 product coupons. After mailing those coupons in, Pinkerton would send out one of the cabinet cards as a reward. As the cards were not mailed with any significant protective measures in place, finding these cards in decent condition is not easy. As they were redemption pieces as well, their value is based not only on the breadth of the checklist, but also their low numbers in the hobby and their condition sensitive nature. We currently list the set at 375 cataloged players; however, cards numbered in the 600s do exist, so its possible more items will come to light.
Given those factors, this batch of cards should command strong prices. The key cards were all authenticated by Sportscard Guarantee (SGC) and some of them received very strong grades. While most collectors of material produced after 1980 demand their cards be in Mint or better condition, that is simply not possible in the pre-war world (cards produced prior to the outbreak of World War II). Case in point, the Jackson graded out as an SGC 40 (very good), while the Addie Joss example came in as an SGC 84 (near mint). It would not be surprising to see the Jackson read the $50,000 plateau.
Tags: 1911 baseball cards, addie joss, auction news, baseball hall of fame, cabinet cards, chicago black sox, christy mathewson, cy young, eddie plank, honus wagner, hunt auctions, nap lajoie, napoleon lajoie, pinkerton tobacco company, postcards, pre-war baseball cards, red man tobacco, sam craford, scorecards, sgc, shoeless joe jackson, sportscard guarante, t5 pinkerton cabinets, tobacco cards