A Look at Joe Tinker’s Four T206 Cards

The Hall of Famer is one of the most featured players in the T206 set

T206 477 Tinker

Only one player, Hal Chase, was featured five times in the T206 set. But a few players did manage to get four cards and Hall of Famer Joe Tinker is one of those.

And to some, Tinker can actually be credited with five cards, even if one is only technically an error.

In short, though, Tinker is known to have four cards in the set. Like many other players, he’s found on a portrait card. He also has two batting poses and a fielding pose.

The portrait card is pretty typical. The artwork is well done and the most notable thing is probably Tinker’s haircut. It’s not off the wall bonkers like Matty McIntyre’s portrait card is but definitely something you notice.

It’s just a classic T206 card. Nice, solid (even deep) red background, though that can vary depending on ink levels on individual cards and such. Great vintage uniform — just a lot to like about the card.

T206 476 TinkerAlso in my favorites for Tinker is his fielding pose card.

Here, we’ve got Tinker with his hands on his knees (which is often how the card is listed/cataloged) in the field. Tinker’s got a different Cubs uniform here than in his portrait. That’s evident by the dark collar on the portrait card. But it’s a great looking card of him and, if I had to settle on only one as a collector, it might be this one.

Another thing I like about the fielding card is you get a nice fade to the background. That’s a contrast to his hitting cards, the next two we’ll look at.

Up next are Tinker’s two batting cards. One shows Tinker with a bat on his shoulder with the other one, the bat at more of a parallel angle off his shoulder. On Shoulder and Off Shoulder are typically how you see two distinguished. Both cards are similar and the fact that they both have a yellowish background with him wearing the same type of uniform doesn’t particularly help much.

These aren’t particularly bad cards but, in comparison to the other two, they are probably be least two favorites, to be honest.

T206 474 TinkerT206 475 TinkerBoth are fine and any T206 is a good card, I suppose. But the artwork on the bat off shoulder in particular is pretty rough compared to his other three cards. The other batting card is fine. I just probably prefer his fielding one to it if you gave me a choice. If you go with a batting pose here, the On Shoulder version is probably the nicer looking of the two.

But also, have a look at what I mentioned about the background on the fielding pose. On the Off Shoulder card (left), you see playing surface and a weird, light blue ‘thing.’ That thing is likely meant to be some buildings off in the background, like we see on some other T206s. But because of the pose, it ends just sort of looking like a weird pile of nothing.

On the On Shoulder card, we don’t have that. But there’s no fade into the background, either. Just a hard green, bumpy line for the playing field straight into the yellow background. It’s not terrible, I guess, but it also makes you appreciate the more nuanced background of the fielding pose.

5th Card

Joe Tinker T206 ErrorSo, I mentioned a fifth Tinker card earlier.

Technically that one is different, but it’s really not supposed to be. That’s because it’s an error card.

A while back, a Tinker error was discovered with his fielding pose variation. This isn’t a typographical error or anything. Rather, the error is in the printing on his jersey.

Here, you see the Cubs name on his jersey. However, if you look closer, you can see the remnants of some letters beneath it. While it’s difficult to make out, it looks like it says, ‘Chicago.’

The card is exceptionally rare and, as expected, quite expensive. REA sold one for $12,000 previously.

Here’s more on this card in particular.


So let’s talk rarity? Are any of them rarer than the others? If so, probably only slightly.

To date, the one PSA has graded the least is the On Shoulder card with about 550 cards graded. The fielding pose with his hands on his knees is next with nearly 600. The Off Shoulder version has about 650 while PSA has graded about that many of the portrait cards as well.

In terms of pricing, while I hate making these kinds of blanket generalizations without a little more digging, Tinker’s low-grade cards seem to be among the cheaper ones of Hall of Famers you can buy. Really low-grade cards of his have sold for under $50 at times and it’s getting harder to find any cards of Hall of Famers for that little. You also see some of his lower end stuff that’s even significantly nicer sometimes come in at under $100.

That said, his better stuff gets expensive in a hurry, though. For something like a PSA 3, you’ll easily pay about $200-$300.

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