The 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folders set is a unique pre-war issue. The cards featured three separate panels with two color cards on the ends and a black and white action shot in the middle. Many believe they’re among the most beautiful baseball card sets of all-time.
The cards on the end are usually of the most interest. They are sometimes collected individually but for the most part collectors tend to prefer intact panels. While the subjects in the middle of the card play a part in its value, the end panels are really the focal point. The design offers sort of a “two for one” opportunity for collectors and the set offers some player combinations that were great at the time–and remain so more than 100 years later.
For some reason, Triple Folders remain relatively inexpensive compared to other issues of the era.
Here’s a look at five T202 issues pursued for their popular pairings on the ends.
Joe Wood / Tris Speaker
Smoky Joe Wood does not appear in the T205 set but interestingly, he is featured on two T202 cards. That is noteworthy as the images on the T202 end panels were the same ones used in the T205 set. Wood is one of only two players in the T202 set that is featured on an end panel that was not in T205 (Walter Blair was the other). Why Wood and Blair did not make it into the gold bordered T205 release remains a mystery.
This two Wood cards are desirable not only because of Wood but because the other end panel on each one features Hall of Famer Tris Speaker.
Joe Tinker / Frank Chance (with Johnny Evers)
Frank Chance and Joe Tinker are featured on several T202 cards with other players. The best card, though, is one with both of them together. An added bonus is that Johnny Evers is featured in the black and white action photo, giving collectors the famous Hall of Fame trio of Tinker, Evers, and Chance all on the same card.
The others featuring any of those players are popular cards, to be sure. But this one with all three is the best one.
Hughie Jennings / Ty Cobb
Cobb is another player that is included on several cards in the set. All together, the Hall of Famer is pictured on six cards and that’s one of the reason a complete set can be expensive as his issues are generally the most expensive.
One card, though, is a little better than the others. First, Cobb is featured on an end panel and in the middle as the black and white photo. But the card is also bolstered by the presence of the colorful HOFer Hughie Jennings, who is found at the other end.
Eddie Collins / Home Run Baker
The Hall of Fame combinations in the T202 set keep coming with another card featuring greats from the Philadelphia Athletics. This card features Cooperstown inductees Eddie Collins and Home Run Baker.
Collins is also pictured on the middle panel for extra measure as he is shown safely reaching base. The two are further linked as they were part of the Philadelphia Athletics’ famed $100,000 infield.
Chief Meyers / Christy Mathewson
There are lots of other great T202 cards that could have been mentioned here. One features the legendary Cy Young. Others feature Hall of Famer Walter Johnson. A few even picture more Hall of Fame duos.
But I’m going with a card featuring Hall of Fame ace Christy Mathewson and battery mate, catcher Chief Meyers. Part of the reason for that is because his picture in the set is one of the most iconic poses on a pre-war card. Mathewson is found on even more cards than Cobb as he’s seen a total of eight times in the set. Two of those cards show him with Meyers on the other end panel, but one has a great picture in the middle with Hall of Fame manager John McGraw shaking hands with Athletics captain Harry Davis. If I’m picking one of Matty’s eight cards, it’s going to be that one.
Looking for some T202 cards of your own? eBay usually has a great selection with commons in decent condition usually starting around $50.