Monday, February 19, 2018

How about a prewar Toronto card?

In my last post, I mentioned getting a PWE from Jon in the mail and assuming it was something I had won on eBay. I didn't open it right away, and only after my real eBay winnings arrived did I realize my mistake. Fortunately, Jon was very understanding, but he did ask to see the eBay winning.

Well, here it is. This is a 1912 C46 Imperial Tobacco card. I believe, it's the only Canadian tobacco issue of baseball cards.The set contains 90 cards featuring players from the International League. The entire set is has a brown wood-grain finish, over a beveled edge. The player's photo is in an oval surrounded by baseball equipment, and below all of that, a name plate.

74 of the 90 players in this set have major league experience. The key card has to be Chick Gandil, featured with Montreal. Other notable cards include Dummy Taylor (Montreal). There are also manager cards of Joe Kelley (Toronto), Joe McGinnity (Newark) and Jack Dunn (Baltimore).

For Canadian content, the set has Bill O'Hara (with Toronto) and Rube Vickers (with Baltimore).

So what about Tony Smith? It's probably obvious that I bought this card because it features a Toronto player. If not, well, I bought this card because it features a Toronto player. I never posted about it, but I completed my 1977 O-Pee-Chee Blue Jays team set, and wanted to dabble at something else. So this is me, dabbling. There are 13 Toronto players in this set, including the aforementioned Bill O'Hara and Joe Kelley. I hope to be able to assemble all 13.

Back to Tony. According to the back of he card, he was acquired by Toronto during the 1911 season. He played in 55 games, and was sold to Wilkesbarre, of the New York State League, at the end of the season. I find that amusing. Why print this card, then? Why not include somebody actually on the roster in 1912? Oh well.

Most of Smith's 15-seasons were spent in the minor leagues, but he is among the 74 players in the set with major league experience. He spent parts of the 1907 season with Washington, as well as 1910 and part of 1911 with Brooklyn. He does have a T205.

According to baseball-reference, Smith never actually played with Wilkesbarre. It only shows him playing with Sioux City of the Western League. After two years with Sioux City, he played for Galveston in the Texas League, spent two seasons with Lincon in the Texas League, and then returned to Sioux City. It appears he didn't play again after the 1918 season.

So there you have it. One down, twelve to go. Maybe, if I get ambitious, I'll put up a separate page to track this team set build.

Thanks for reading.



  1. What a great looking set design! I have never seen these before, but now that I have... I would really like to at least one card from the set.

    After doing some brief searching, it would appear that they are somewhat scarce, so you might have your work cut out for ya on this project. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. I would really like to *own* at least one card from the set. -- Sorry, I had to correct that!

    2. Yeah, this isn't going to be an *easy* team set build, but that's okay. I'm gonna try to collect it opportunistically, and just get the cards at a good price when I can. I anticipate Joe Kelley being tough because he's a hall-of-famer, and the Bill O'Hara card is also tough...I assume it's T206 Polar Bear back carryover, but I really don't know.

      In any event, you should DEFINITELY add one of these to your collection. Or just buy the whole set. Somebody has the full 90 on eBay right now for only six grand ;)

  2. Thank you for posting/sharing, that is a terrific looking card, and something I'd never seen before.

    1. Oh, awesome. Yeah, it's a great set. I love that it has write-ups on the back. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Robert, your blog caught my attention in an effort to find information about the 1912 Imperial Tobacco baseball cards which my husband and I recently inherited. I've also looked at www.thecardboardconnection which has a service that buys then resells them or finds buyers (some of what is on their website is posted on ebay and the prices are out of the park, so to speak). Anyway, would you mind sharing your opinion on what you think is the best way to sell these to people like yourself who will appreciate them?

    1. Hello there! Thanks for reaching out. You have a couple of tough/sought after players in that group. As far as selling, you have a number of options, and I can definitely help you out. Contact me through the contact form in the bottom right column of the blog (so that nobody has to post their email address on a public space), and we can continue this conversation.



  4. P.S. These are the cards I have: Baltimore: Dunn (1), Gettman (2)
    Montreal: Silton, Purtell, Yeager, Burchell, Taylor
    Toronto: Lush (2), Kocher, Meyers, Shaw, Delehanty, Phelps
    Jersey City: Wheeler, Justis
    Rochester: Dessau, Hughes (2), Simmons, Manser
    Buffalo: Sharpe, Brockett
    Providence: Elston
    Newark: McGinnity