T205 Cubs Variations of Peaches Graham, Dave Shean Among Tougher Finds

A pair of rare variations in the T205 issue are two of the tougher finds for set collectors

T205 Cubs Peaches Graham

T205 Rustlers Peaches Graham

The T205 gold border set is one of the most sought after pre-war tobacco card issues. It’s not collected quite on the level of T206 but is close behind.

The set is popular for a variety of reasons. And for those that want to build a set, they’ll often look towards T205 because it’s less than half the size of T206 and significantly less expensive, despite the cards actually being rarer. A true T205 master set with all of the errors makes things much more difficult. But a basic 208-card T205 set is relatively painless.

Still, even the basic set has its share of tougher cards. And somewhere on that list are a pair of variations for some pretty minor players.

Peaches Graham and David Shean are both included in the set. Each played for the Boston Rustlers when the set was initially being produced and, as such, they have cards featuring them with that team. However, at different times in 1911, both were traded to the Chicago Cubs. And since the T205 set was being distributed in 1911, that caused some complications.

T205 Rustlers SheanT205 Cubs SheanThe fix was a simple one — create cards featuring both players with their new teams. Producing card artwork for the players was surely no simple or inexpensive feat. So the printers simply changed the team name for the players and called it a day. Even their biographies on the backs still reference them as Boston players.

A good number of the players’ Boston cards were surely printed as those are the ones that have survived in significantly higher quantities. We cannot say for sure when the updated Chicago cards would have been printed but it was much later in the print run. Those cards are not altogether scarce but they are rarer and subsequently more expensive.

PSA’s population report gives us an idea of how much rarer the cards might be. To date, they’ve graded 200 of Graham’s Rustlers card and a little less than 100 of his rarer Cubs edition. The same goes for Shean. A little more than 200 of his Rustlers cards have been graded to only 100 Cubs cards.

That would suggest a ratio of about 2:1 in terms of the players’ Boston cards vs. their Cubs cards. But I would suggest it is greater than that simply because the Cubs cards are significantly more valuable and would be graded more frequently by collectors. Plus, the reality is that if you go looking for these cards, you are much more likely to find Rustlers cards than you will Cubs cards.

As far as value, the difference is quite clear. Low-grade Rustlers cards for each player generally start in the $15-$20 range. However, their Cubs variations are tough to find for much less than $100.

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