1909, 1910, and 1911 T212 Obak Uncut Sheets

This 1910 T212 Obak uncut sheet has 76 of 175 different subjects in the year’s release of Pacific Coast League Northwestern League players.

Mastro auctioned off this example in November 2000 and wrote that it features players from five of the PCL teams (no reps for Vernon) and Spokane only from the NWL. There are 46 different players depicted, with 30 of those appearing twice. Also, the format, with borders on the left and right, demonstrates that a single line from Obak’s production sheet was 19 cards. They went on to say that because the issue has 175 cards, they couldn’t rationalize any configuration with duplicate images, where 19 cards horizontally are compatible with 175 different ones in the set. They concluded this was bad news for Obak collectors since it suggests imbalances in production quantities within the issue. 

Overall, the piece measured 10 1/2” x 28” and was production-ready. All the cards stated “175 subjects” on the back. The front of the sheet has a few creases, and about a dozen cards toward the right have mild spot toning, making the overall condition Gd to Vg. 

Since that sale, a few more Obak uncut sheets have surfaced. In the Spring of 2010, REA sold the following 1909 T212 Obak Complete Set Uncut Sheet for $5875. 

They wrote that the 76-card 1909 set is the first of the three annual T212 baseball cards from Obak Cigarettes and are by far the rarest. They mentioned having seen the 1910 Obak sheet and said it was interesting that the one-year-later sheet also had 76 cards, which, in addition to the 1909 Obak issue having precisely that number of cards in the set, suggests that this is a complete sheet exactly as printed. This was also a final process sheet with backs fully printed, but it also had a few imperfections. They advertised the sheet’s dimensions as 11 1/8” x 27 3/4”.

Next, in September 2021, Huggins & Scott sold this 1911 T212 Obak Full Uncut Sheet of 179 cards for $18,800.

They wrote, “With a challenging slate of games often approaching two hundred per season, the combatants of the early twentieth century Pacific Coast and Northwestern Leagues were some of the most colorful and hardworking personalities in the game. Capturing twelve teams and dozens of future major leaguers, the 1911 T212 Obak series featured western minor leaguers in what is often considered the most attractive baseball series issued during the tobacco card era. In April 2010, our Northern California-based consignor uncovered an incredible keepsake in his personal belongings. Three decades prior, a business associate gave our consignor several items from his father’s collection. A former employee of the Schmidt Lithography Company of San Francisco, these personal effects included advertising images, illustrations and a neatly folded sheet of baseball cards inserted into a manila 15×10 envelope. Measuring 31 x 23-1/2”, the offered 1911 T212 Obak full uncut sheet of (179) cards is likely unique and the largest baseball cigarette uncut sheet known in the hobby. While similar sheets (likely partial) of the 1909 series (76 cards) and 1910 edition (76 cards) have sold through competing auction houses, this (179) card galley overwhelms all others known. The interesting configuration includes (8) 21-card vertical rows and a single 11-card horizontal arrangement at the bottom of the sheet. Among the (88) different players, (85) players have two cards each, while a trio of players are displayed three times.”

Hopefully, sharing these three sheets can help some smarter folks about pre-war cards piece together a bit more of the T212 story.

For more about Obak cards, check out this summary from prewarcards.

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