Many collectors don’t realize how affordable some vintage baseball cards truly are. Collectors don’t even have to settle for cards of lesser known players, either. While many issues depicting Hall of Famers are pricey, plenty of bargains exist, too. Over a four-part series, I wanted to take a look at some of the more affordable pre-war Hall of Fame cards available to collectors. These will be grouped by decade, starting with the 1900s and running through the 1930s.
With that said, here’s a look at some of the more affordable Hall of Fame cards from the early 1910s.
Chief Bender T201 Mecca Double Folders
Printed in 1911, the T201 Mecca Double Folders cards were among the first cards of the new decade. Fewer sets would be produced later, likely because of World War I. However, many issues were created in the early 1910s before that drought began.
This unique set features two players on one card and several Hall of Famers are in the set, including Chief Bender. As a pitcher, Bender was 212-127 over a 16-year career and his cards are usually among the cheaper ones for Cooperstown inductees. You can sometimes find his T201 card for as little as $50-$75.
Roger Bresnahan T207
The T207 set is widely criticized for not including enough Hall of Famers. That criticism is more than fair given the absence of headliners such as Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, and many others.
However, the 1912 issue does include a few Hall of Famers and the cheapest one might be catcher Roger Bresnahan. Bresnahan’s card is somewhat unique as it features an uncorrected typo, which names him Bresnaham with an ‘m‘ at the end.
The card is very affordable and it isn’t too hard to find fairly decent ones starting around $75.
1913 Nap Lajoie Game Card
Forget just the 1910s — the Nap Lajoie 1913 game cards are among the best pre-war bargains for a Hall of Famer in any decade.
Lajoie’s image is printed as part of a special game he endorsed in or around 1913. The great thing about the game is that Lajoie’s image is on every single card. They aren’t overly rare because of that but since they are more than 100 years old, they aren’t commonplace, either. These can be found with both a blue or red tint.
The cards are often found in nice condition and even despite that, they can sometimes be found for as little as $25 or less.
Home Run Baker Barker/National Game Cards
In addition to the Lajoie game cards, several other game sets that pictured real players were issued in the 1910s. Two of the more common ones were the Barker Game and the National Game. Offered in 1913, those sets were basically parallels of each other, using the same players and images.
Home Run Baker is one of the many Hall of Famers found in both sets. They’re often available for $100–or even less.
And if you’re looking for something more unique, some variations of the Baker cards also have a stamped overprint for Fenway Breweries, a Boston beer producer. Those cards are much tougher and more expensive, often costing upwards of $150 or more.
Miller Huggins T205
Miller Huggins is one of the more affordable Hall of Famers there is so his name tends to pop up quite a bit on these types of lists. Huggins is found in the 1911 T205 set and, as you’d expect, is a bargain card compared to the likes of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, and Christy Mathewson, among others.
Huggins’ T205 is a very nice card thanks to the incredible artwork in the set. That’s part of the reason I think it is a tremendous value. And given that you can find it in decent shape for under $75, it’s even more attractive.