|-- 1913 T-200 Fatima Teams --|
Issued by Ligget and Myers Tobacco Co. in 1913 with Fatima brand cigarettes, the T200 set consists of eight National and eight American League team cards. The cards measure 2 5/8 by 4 3/4 inches and are glossy photographs on paper stock. Although it is unknown why, several of the cards are more difficult to obtain than others. The team cards feature 369 different players, managers and mascots. The card backs contain an offer for an enlarged copy (13 by 21 inches) of a team card minus the advertising on the front, in exchange for 40 Fatima cigarette coupons. These large T200 premiums are very rare and have a value 12-15 times greater than a common T200 card.
T200's are the first small baseball tobacco card set listed in the American Card Catalog. Actually they were issued quite late in the tobacco era, 1913. The set shows photographs of all 16 major league teams, and was issued by the American Tobacco Company's Ligget and Myers division. Another similar issue featuring individual players is covered in the T222 article. With all the speculation regarding Honus Wagner's alleged aversion to being on tobacco cards, the T200 remains the most prevalent tobacco card that Wagner does appear on. Of course, he's with the entire Pittsburgh team.
The "Fatima" brand cards measure 2 5/8" x 4 3/4" and are glossy photographs on a brittle paper. It is not unusual to find great differences in the picture clarity and contrast in cards of the same subject. The back of each card makes a "Special Offer" noting that if you send 40 fatima Cigarette coupons, they will will send you an enlarged copy of the team picture of your choice. The team picture that would be received is identical to the small picture with the one exception being the Fatima advertising has been removed. This was apparently an important point as many collectors were offended by the tobacco advertising on the picture and some went so far as to carefully cut the Fatima rectangle out from the card. It is unknown why Burdick chose not to assign an American Card Catalog number to these cards, which are actually large Cabinet photographs, measuring 13" x 21". The actual photo is 11" x 19". The large cards are referred to by collectors as T200 Premiums and are extremely rare and desirable.
T200's show 369 individuals on 16 cards including a few managers and a couple of mascots. No 20th century set pictured more major leaguers until the Topps era. In the lower left hand corner of each card, a rectangle shows the "1913" date and the lower right shows the credit "C Pictorial News Co." The Cincinnati team includes Leon Ames, Josh Devore and Heinie Groh, all of whom were on the N.Y. Giant roster at the start of the 1913 season. Devore was to go to the Phillies later in the 1913 season. It's obvious that the photos were taken after the 1913 season had started. virtually all the stars of the era are present. Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, Christy Mathewson, Joe Tinkeer, Honus Wagner, etc. are all shown with their teams. The only big name apparently missing is Gavvy Cravath, the Phillies outfielder who led the league in Home Runs and RBI's and was second in batting, missing a triple crown by 9 points. Also of interest is the inclusion of Jim Thorpe with the New York Giant team.
There are "unknown players" such as a player indicated as Herman on Cincinnati or Inglis shown on the Cubs. Baseball records do not show these individuals and it is assumed an error was made somewhere, but the nature of it is not known. One of the appeals of T200 is the presence of many obscure ballplayers who might not otherwise be on cards. One example is Les Hennessy of Detroit, whose only major league experience was 22 at bats in 1913. Similarly, Everett Booe played sparingly with Pittsburg in 1913, although Booe did play some in the Federal League in 1914.
It is assumed that T200's were placed in oblong tins with the cigarettes. The brittle paper made them very susceptible to creasing and sometimes staining. Many times stains are found on the back of the cards and it is assumed that the T200 picture was placed at the top of the tin with the back touching the cigarettes. There was no premium offered for the completion of the 16 T200 pictures so it's not clear why five teams stand out as more difficult to obtain, but that certainly is the case. New York A.L., both St. Louis teams, Detroit and Boston N.L. all are more difficult. The New York A.L. and the Browns are clearly the most difficult. Detroit and the to be "Miracle Braves" are next and the Cardinals follow. It should not be thought that the remaining 11 are equally common. That's not the case. Some cards are unusually common (the Athletics, Red Sox, Giants, Brooklyn, Cleveland and Cincinnati) while others are moderately more difficult (the Cubs and White Sox). There is no T200 Premium more difficult than any other, although the effect of history has created a large demand for the New York Americans card.