The fans who watched him in his prime are long gone from this earth but no one needs eye witnesses or video to understand why the market for Ty Cobb baseball cards remains one of the hottest sports collectible markets. Cobb’s greatness on the field and in the record books has transcended generations.
From the early 20th century through the end of his playing career a quarter century later, he was a fixture on most of the sets that were created. From sports publications to postcards to those given out with candy to, of course, tobacco, it wasn’t much of a set without him.
Today, some collectors chase as many Cobb cards as they can find. Others prefer a few high grade examples and the rest of us simply would like one from his playing days or even a cut signature or relic card from the modern era just to say we own a Cobb.
He is one of the players who drives the vintage card market. Headlines are made when the rare “Ty Cobb Tobacco” T206 cards are discovered and when a bag full of them is found it’s a big story. Auctions are full of four, five and six-figure sales of the best graded Cobb cards.
No player’s face portrayed the tobacco card era better. Cy Young had sort of a grandfatherly appearance by 1909. Christy Mathewson was a college grad, rare for players of the time. Walter Johnson looked almost tranquil, as if he knew he’d get you out one way or another. Honus Wagner? Well, his short tenure in those cigarette packs didn’t say much. Ty Cobb baseball cards gave us the look. He appeared on four different cards in the T206 set: green and red backed portraits, a waist-up art creation holding a bat on his shoulder and another with the bat resting on it.
His earliest cards, however, didn’t involve smokes. He appeared in the 1907 Dietsche postcard set in the Detroit area and was also part of the ongoing Sporting Life cabinet card series around the same time. The Dietsche postcards remain one of the hobby’s most underrated cards, in our opinion. The Sporting Life cabinets took a real effort to acquire back in the day and are among the hobby’s most sought after issues.
Cobb was in caramel cards, too, so you didn’t have to be a smoker to find his picture. The 1909 E90-1 American Caramel and the 1909 E95 Philadelphia Caramel cards are among his most popular “candy” cards.
A few years later, you could find Cobb in the Mecca Double Folders set and multiple times inside the creative and beautiful Hassan Triple Folders series.
His card in the 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack sets are also extremely popular with collectors who can afford to chase them.
Cobb captivates collectors like no other player and his original baseball cards are the keys to virtually every set issued between 1907 and 1925. He’s proven to be a good investment over time.
So which graded and authenticated Ty Cobb cards are being watched by the most eBay bidders right now? Take a look at the list below, which is updated automatically multiple times each day:
To see the most watched cards in any sport at any one time, click here.