Ty Cobb and Cy Young Highlight Collection of Over 400 T205 and T206 Tobacco Cards

They have been owned by the Same Family for 113 Years since they were issued!
  • April 13, 2023

Since 1910, over a century ago, this collection of vintage tobacco cards had been owned by the same family. Passed down from generation to generation, over 400 T205 and T206 baseball cards have been privately owned, unknown to the hobby since the days when television had yet to be invented! Until I sat down to provide a free evaluation I thought the entire collection consisted of just 11 cards; you can imagine the excitement here when hundreds more tobacco cards came through the door! Highlighted by legendary players like Ty Cobb and Cy Young, Just Collect is proud to have purchased these beautiful pieces of history, including one very "interesting" card. 



The T206 baseball set is one of the most iconic and desired card sets in our hobby. Released between 1909 and 1911, these cards were placed in various brands of tobacco. On the back of each card is an advertisement for the tobacco company. Unlike the Topps baseball cards you collected as a kid where every card in the set came from Topps, these T206 cards were distributed in 16 different brands! Of the 16 different brands on the back of each card, some are quite rare!


  • Found in a variety of tobacco products between 1909 and 1911
  • The first mass-produced set of baseball cards
  • 524 cards in the set
  • 38 Hall of Famers featured  - variations bring the total to 76 cards of Hall of Famers
  • 16 different backs 
  • Contains the "Holy Grail" of cards: Honus Wagner. This is one of the most rare and valuable cards in the world with one selling for 6.6 million dollars. 

The T205 baseball set is also an all-time release. Produced in 1911, each card was also inserted into a variety of products from tobacco brands. With gold borders around the cards, the design is stunning.


  • Found in a variety of tobacco products in 1911
  • Some of the first cards to feature biographies and statistics on the back of a card
  • 209 cards in the set
  • 27 Hall of Famers featured 
  • 17 different backs

Over 400 vintage tobacco cards from both the T205 and T206 sets are in this collection!

From the T206 set are two different cards of Ty Cobb. A bat on shoulder variation where Cobb is holding the lumber he brought to the plate where he hit for a record .366 career batting average. The red back portrait card has a blazing background that is a treat to hold. Cy Young is in the collection with a glove showing version. You may recognize the name Cy Young as the award given to the best pitcher in each league. The award is named after this legendary hurler as he owns a record that may never be reached again in baseball - 511 career wins. For perspective, a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, Kyle Wright, lead all baseball pitchers with 21 wins in 2022. To reach Cy Young's career win total, Wright would need to win 21 games each season for the next 23 years in a row where he'd get the record at the ripe age of 50. Other Hall of Famers in the collection are Christy Mathewson who lead the National League in Earned Run Average five different seasons, and Walter Johnson who is the record holder for most career shut outs with 110, 


The T205 cards also include iconic names in baseball history. Cy Young, Christy Matthewson, Walter Johnson, and Ty Cobb are all represented again! There are multiple copies of Young, Mathewson, and Cobb, too. The gold boarders around the T205 cards and the portraits of each player make me feel like I'm looking at beautiful paintings in the wall of a museum, and unlike the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre, we have multiple copies!

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Frank Chance is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Leading the Chicago Cubs, he won back-to-back World Series championships as their manager in 1908 and 1909. When we turned the card over to see if Frank Chance was on a rare back, we did a doubletake! The original owner decided to write the S-word on the back of the this Chance Card -twice. On the Piedmont brand back, there it is - SH*T/SH*T. 


Why do YOU think the original owner marked this card with a dirty word TWICE? We're thinking someone was clearly not a Cubs fan. Don't forget that marked cards, or cards that have been written on, can be valuable! Just Collect purchased a collection of 1939 Playball baseball cards that had a date stamped on the front of each card. In that set is where you'd find a rookie card of Ted Williams. Check out the Mysteriously-Stamped Collection to learn about marked cards and take your guess at why each card is stamped with a date.

There is one more marked card in the collection, and it is a special one that we are going to return to the family of the original owner.


The Joe McCord family collection was originally put together by Joe McCord, of Macon, Georgia. An avid tobacco smoker and sometimes baseball enthusiast, Joe had accumulated quite the stack of T205 and T206 baseball cards he pulled from the tobacco products. Joe stored these cards in an old cigar box. Back in 1909 the idea of safely storing cards hadn't been thought of yet. When Joe passed away, he left the cards to his younger cousin, and in this case the current owner's grandfather, Bob English, Jr. Grandpa Bob had no desire to keep this collection of tobacco cards and soon passed the cards on to Bob English III, the current owner's dad.

Bob English III began to investigate the value of the 400 + tobacco card collection, but this was at a time before the Internet had been invited. Now you can just search "how to sell my baseball cards" in Google and find us here at Just Collect. We're happy to give you a free evaluation and information on your collection. However, Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedias didn't list out baseball card values back then. Without the resources and time to educate himself about the collection, Bob placed the cards in a safety deposit box for the next 20 years until his passing.

Bob's son, Nate Hackney, inherited the collection. A descendant of Joe McCord, Nate opened the safety deposit box and placed the cards into protective sheets. Jokingly, Nate dubbed the cards the MEH collection, taking the initials of the three previous owners in McCord, English, and Hackney. As you see, the collection is anything but MEH! 

Nate made an appointment with us and chose to come by our store in-person here in Milburn, NJ. We offer many options to evaluate your collection! Whether your wish to come to our store, meet us at a convention, ship your cards, or have us come to your area, we are ready to accommodate you. We're happy that Nate opted to visit us here at the Just Collect store. After getting to know Nate and the history of the collection, we spent several hours evaluating and appraising the cards. The retail stores are focused on selling modern products and simply don't have the time or the knowledge to carefully evaluate vintage collections like The McCord Family collection that we do at Just Collect.


When I first sat down to review and appraise Nate's collection, I was under the impression that there were 11 total cards. Some of the Hall of Famers and stars like the Ty Cobb and Cy Young cards were provided, and I was more than happy to evaluate and purchase the collection had there been just this stack. To my surprise, Nate brought hundreds of more T205 and T206 cards with him! 

An evaluation is never rushed; I take my time to carefully review all cards and treat them with the respect a collection deserves. This morning I only had a banana for breakfast, though. By the time I got to the T205 cards, I was ready to take a bit out of one of these cards - shades of the Once Bitten Collection! By eating a healthy breakfast and lunch, I save the calories for nice meal to end the day at dinner time. Rather than ordering fast food and putting a kibosh on the Manicotti dinner plans, I took a quick lunch break in the back room where I snuck in some Starkist Tuna. Shout out the Milburn Deli for getting my energy back up so I could complete the evaluation. When Nate asked, I thought about telling him I snagged my own lunch in the pond out back, but he could probably tell by my lack of fishing knowledge that any time I've tried to fish, all I ended up doing was teaching worms how to swim. That and there was a price tag on the container. We documented the moment in our video below and I felt like Jim from The Office. Hopefully Nate doesn't wind up calling me Big Tuna like Andy did to Jim. I was energized and ready to do something I AM good at: being a professional baseball card treasure hunter.

During the process, I got to know Nate and the history of the collection; by the time we finished it felt like we'd known each other for a decade! After the evaluation, we made Nate a fair offer for the collection that he accepted. "It's an amazing set, and I love the art of the cards, but I felt it deserved to be with someone who would appreciate it more." Nate states. We then paid Nate how he chose to be paid. When you sell your collection to Just Collect, we can pay you in cash, wire transfer, money order, or check. No, we did not write "For the SH*T SH*T Collection" in the memo of Nate's check, but we had a nice laugh about it.

In the Joe McCord Family collection was one special card that we wanted Nate to keep and pass down. When Joe McCord opened his tobacco pack back in 1909, he typed his information on the front of one of the cards! 

Here you can see J. A. McCard. 209 Ponce de Leon Ave:

We wanted to return this card back to Nate as a family heirloom. We hope to see this card stay in the family for another 100 years!

Just Collect is proud to have purchased the McCord Family collection. These 400 + vintage cards have never been in the hands of a non-family member since the cost of a dozen eggs was 34 cents and a loaf of bread set you back 7 cents. A dime could get you into a movie, and $25 could cover the mortgage. These cards witnessed The Great Depression, the Moon Landing, and the birth of the Internet. We're excited that history is here at Just Collect. 



Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry-leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace. Check out the Just Collect Buy List.

We always offer a FREE APPRAISAL for your collection here at the Just Collect site. Just click here:


We offer may ways to evaluate your cards other than or using our website, too.

  • Travel to Us

If you can make the trip here like the son from my hometown did for this collection- we can make a deal at the office. We once met a father-son duo that drove eight hours from Virginia to meet us to sell a Michael Jordan rookie card stored in Tupperware since 1986 - great read here

  • Come to convention

We keep a LIST of card shows we'll be attending.  Come stop by the Just Collect table and chat.

  • Meet in-person

If you have a valuable collection and want us to come to you, we'll hop on the next plane out.

  • Meet in New York City

We have another location in New York you can meet us at; read all the information here.

  • SHIP your collection 

If you choose to mail your cards for an appraisal, we will evaluate your cards for FREE still. If you choose not to sell the cards, we'll ship them back shipping fees paid by us!  We can offer our FedEx account with 2-day shipping, fully insured, all covered by us. Simply contact the office to set up this option.


We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the last 25 years. Although Just Collect is known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage baseball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, too!  

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and souls into building their collections. So when you're ready to sell, we understand the feelings that you're going through and will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.


Whether you have vintage cards or modern wax you want to sell, you can reach out to us any time! 


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