The T206 set is arguably the most important issue in the history of card collecting. There are numerous ways to collect it and all sorts of things make it unique. One of the cool aspects of the release are the six horizontal cards found in the set that consists of cards with a mostly vertical layout. Here’s a brief look at each of the six cards and the players behind them.
With a career .253 batting average, Birmingham had a mostly nondescript career. But he did manage to piece together a nice career and ultimately last nine years in the majors.
His T206 card is one of five that feature a player preparing to throw the ball or in the act of throwing. In addition to his playing duties, he also served as a player manager of the Cleveland Naps/Indians.
Primarily a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, Mullin’s name doesn’t carry the same weight as other stars from the era. However, he was a key player for the Tigers, helping the team to three consecutive World Series appearances from 1907 through 1909.
Detroit lost all three of those series’ but it was hardly Mullin’s fault as he posted a combined 1.86 ERA in seven total games. Mullin was a 20-game winner five times and led the league with 29 wins in 1909.
With a career .289 batting average, Murphy was a reliable major league hitter over 16 seasons. Playing mostly with the famed Philadelphia Athletics club, Murphy won two championship rings in 1910 and 1911.
He was successful in the postseason, too, and particularly stood out in the 1910 World Series, hitting .400 against the Chicago Cubs.
Pattee’s T206 card is probably the least desirable among the six horizontal cards. He is pictured as a member of the Brooklyn Superbas and his 1908 season with the club was his only year in the majors.
Pattee batted .216 that year and, while he would play again later in the minors, he would not get back to the major leagues. While Pattee didn’t have a long career, his card is interesting because it is the only horizontal featuring a batter.
Barney Pelty lasted ten years in the major leagues but was the proud owner of an unimpressive 92-117 record as a pitcher. Despite that, his card is by far the most desirable horizontal.
Like the John Titus card in the set, Pelty’s card has long since been rumored as one that was being hoarded. A large collection of 117 was auctioned by REA in 2016, confirming suspicions that many were being held by a single collector. As a result of the hoard, the cards were not seen as frequently as others in the set and prices rose. Today, prices have come down but Pelty’s issue is still the most expensive card in the group, pound for pound.
A fairly impressive pitcher, Jack Powell accumulated 245 wins in his 16-year career. Powell was mostly a .500ish pitcher (his career record was 245-254) but managed to win at least 15 games in each of his first eight seasons in stops in Cleveland, St. Louis, and New York.
A workhorse early in his career, Powell led the league in several different categories, including games pitched, games started, complete games, shutouts, and saves.
Prices for horizontals in the set are generally a little more expensive than most of the other commons. Mid-grade cards for all of the players, save for Pelty, start around $50-$75. And while they can sometimes be found for less, Pelty’s mid-grade cards often start around $75-$100.