Wednesday, 18 January 2012

1909-11 T206: The Catchers

T206 Doc Powers
 I was going though my collection and I realized that it stops completely at 1971. I never made the choice to stop at that year, but my oldest card is from 1971. Even looking back at the badly worn box of cards from my Dad's childhood collection, nothing is older than 1971. Being mainly a collector of Rockies and catcher cards nothing older really interested me. The oldest Rockies related card would probably be a Dale Murphy rookie and older than 1971 never really had a good defensive action shot, which is what I am looking for in catcher cards. I see it as the baseball equivalent of guys who collect goalie cards in hockey.

 Thinking I should remedy this, I thought of what to look for for vintage. Something cool, but not too expensive, but not the cheapest card I could find either. Then I thought what could be cooler than a 100 year old card from the Holy Grail of baseball sets, the T206. So far I have found 5 cards with catchers in their gear, with the best looking and most interesting being the Mike "Doc" Powers card. Powers played in 647 MLB games from 1898-1909. In 1901 he lead the AL in games caught (111) assists as a catcher (137), stolen bases allowed (147) and runners thrown out (112). He played his last game in the 1909 season opener for the Philadelphia Athletics, when in the seventh inning Powers slumped in the dugout with pain, he finished the game and was rushed to hospital after collapsing in the clubhouse after the game. He died two weeks later of gangrene poisoning. His untimely death has been blamed on crashing into a wall after a foul ball, diving for a foul ball and even on a bad pregame sandwich. The story gets even more bizarre in the fact that "Doc" Powers earned his nickname because he was in fact a licensed physician.

So the quest begins, basically scouring around looking for a T206 catcher, I am viewing this as a serious long term goal, so maybe I will find something eventually. Not really looking for a trade as I have nothing in equal value to give up. For now this is more of a reminder to myself to keep my eyes open, and a cool piece of trading card history to think about until the 2012's start hitting the shelves. Below are the four other geared up catchers from the set.

Tom Needham
Fred Snodgrass
Larry McLean
Red Kleinow


  1. I'm a huge fan of the 1909 T206s and these cards show reasons why. Such great looking cards, the colors always pop. They seem to be drying up a little on eBay (or the prices are just going up) but they are definitely out there. Watch out for reprints though, if its too cheap, its too good to be true.

  2. Are you saying that pre-71s didn't have good action shots for catchers? I disagree totally. There are some amazing play at the plate shots in 1956 Topps. I'm a Rangers collector, but collect pretty much anything catcher related. I love those T-206s. They are great. Good luck getting one and make sure you show us if you do!