1909 Cabanas Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Cabanas
Year 1909
Size 1 1/2 x 2 1/4″
Images Black and White with Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set

1909 Cabanas Overview

Cabanas Back

Cabanas Front

After reaching the World Series but falling just short to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909, the Detroit Tigers headed to Cuba to play two Cuban teams, Almendares and Habana, in a series of exhibitions. The Tigers didn’t have Hall of Famers Ty Cobb or Sam Crawford, but the way they were dominated (going only 4-8 on the trip) likely raised some eyebrows, anyway.

A set of Cuban cards was printed to  help promote the games. All three teams are featured and the series is highly desired by collectors today.

The cards were a bit unique looking, combining black and white images of players with colorful borders and splotches of color on the player’s apparel. Pictures were a portrait format inside of an oval. Each team also had a color scheme with the Cuban clubs’ nicknames. Cards in red were for the Reds while cards in blue were for the Almendares. The Tigers cards were black/grey. Backs read (in Spanish):

“The best way to assemble a precious collection of baseball players from Cuban clubs and foreign clubs that are visiting is by smoking the famous Cabanas cigarettes.”

One interesting card in the set is that of Bill Hopke. Hopke wouldn’t be familiar to most Tigers fans and he did not play in the majors. However, Baseball Reference notes that he played in the series for Detroit. The Tigers, perhaps needing players, turned to the minor leaguer to help fill the roster.

Hopke, for what it’s worth, didn’t fare that well. He hit only .050 in the series, collecting one hit in 20 at bats. He did drive in a run and collected three sacrifice hits, but overall, he struggled at the plate.

Another interesting story is that of Bruce Petway. Petway played for Habana in the series and internationally for many years. However, in 1919, he actually went to Detroit to play for the Stars in the Negro League.

SGC has not even graded 200 of these cards to date as they are quite rare.

1909 Cabanas Checklist

  1. Rafael Almeida
  2. Heinie Beckendorf (Tigers)
  3. Owen Bush (Tigers)
  4. Luis Bustamante
  5. A. Cabanas
  6. A. Cabrera
  7. Gonzalez Chicho
  8. Regino Garcia
  9. Ricardo Hernandez
  10. H. Hidalgo
  11. Pedro Hill
  12. Bill Hopke (Tigers)
  13. David Jones (Tigers)
  14. Bill Lelivelt (Tigers)
  15. Armando Marsans
  16. Matty McIntyre (Tigers)
  17. Angel Mesa
  18. A. Molina
  19. Carlos Moran
  20. George Moriarty (Tigers)
  21. George Mullin (Tigers)
  22. Frank O’Laughlin (Umpire)
  23. Charley O’Leary (Tigers)
  24. Luis Padron
  25. Emliano Palomino
  26. Agustin Parpetti
  27. Pastor Pereda
  28. Inocencio Perez
  29. Bruce Petway
  30. Esteban Prats
  31. C. Royer
  32. Boss Schmidt (Tigers)
  33. Gonzalo Sanchez
  34. Gonzalez Sirique
  35. Edgar Willetts (Tigers)

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