The T206 set was issued between 1909 and 1911. But when were the various series printed? Step into the wayback machine as one hobbyist tackled the issue in a 1962 issue of The Sport Hobbyist.
The following story was written by Walter Corson and appeared in the Summer 1962 edition of The Sport Hobbyist, a long defunct sports collecting publication that was a favorite among collectors in the early days of the hobby.
These cards (T206) were issued in three separate series which overlapped each other. The exact release dates are very difficult to determine but after considerable research, I find many instances wherein the approximate dates can be found. For instance, Wid Conroy was transferred from the New York American League Highlanders to the Washington Senators on Feb. 17, 1909. This date can be safely stated as being the earliest issue date of the 150 series since conroy is shown as a Washington player in the 150 series. Had these cards been issued prior to Feb. 17, 1909, Conroy would have worn a New York unfirom.
There are two identical cards for G. Brown; one in the 150 series with the Chicago Cubs and the other in the 350 series with Washington. Brown switched teams on May 12, 1909 so it appears that the 150 series did not extend much beyond that datae.
On the other hand, Neal Ball was also shown with two teams. Cards with a ‘New York’ were issued in both the 150 and 350 series. Ball was sent from New York to Cleveland on May 17, 1909 which certainly shows that the change from the 150 series to the 350 series was made before May 17, 1909. This is proved conclusively in the case of Bad Bill Burns of the Chicago White Sox who came to them from Washington in a trade on May 16, 1909. The card for Burns was issued in the 350 series showing definitely that the series could not have started before May 16, 1909.
We arrive at near certain evidence that the change from the 350 series to the 350-460 series was made by the same manner of deduction. On October 27, 1909, Bill Dahlen was sent from the Boston Rustlers to the Brooklyn Superbas. There are two identical cards for Dahlen also. The Boston card was isued in both the 350 and the 350-460 series which proves nothing new except that the 350 series was still in circulation on Oct. 27.
The earliest date of issue for the 350-460 series must be Dec. 16, 1909 since on that day Lake and Demitt were traded by the New York Americans to the St. Louis Browns for Lou Criger. To substantiate that fact, Lake of St. Louis was issued in the 350 series as well as the 350-460 series so more correct data would be somewhere during the early part of 1910 since we have found that the 350 series was still being issued on Dec. 16, 1909.
The 350-460 series was being issued as late as April 6, 1910 as witness the case of Harry McIntire (errooneously spelled McIntyre on the card) of Brooklyn as well as the card stating Brooklyn and Chicago. McIntire changed from a Brooklyn uniform into one of Chicago’s on April 6, 1910.
As we sum up our findings my opinion is that the 150 series began very soon after Feb. 17, 1909 and continued until May 16, 1909 when the 350 series started. The latter ended in 1910 when the 350-460 series began. If my memory serves me right, the last two series were put into the Piedmont (cigarettes), Sweet Caporl and other brands as late as 1911.
In addition to the McIntire misspelling, there were a few others also. Willett spelled Willetts. Another error was Doolin of the Phillies. There was a player by that name in the majors. He was Mike doolin. The 1907 Reach guide also misspelled the name so the cigarette people naturally figured there was a Doolin.
The Montgomery team is generally thought of as being in the South Atlantic League. However, they were members of the Southern Association from 1903 until 1914 and during the issuance of these cards.