T208 Fireside Baseball Cards

T208 Fireside Baseball Cards

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T208 cards were inserted one at a time inside packages of Cullivan's Fireside scrap tobacco. The Thomas Cullivan Company was a small tobacco business in Syracuse, New York and it's likely the distribution didn't reach far beyond that city, as T208 cards are among the scarcest of all the mainstream T-series cards. They are tough to find as type cards, let alone a complete set. The fact that Jefferson Burdick (author of the American Card Catalog) grew up in Syracuse and was a child at that time probably accounts for the reason the cards were catalogued in the first place.

There are only 18 cards in the set, which commemorates the 1910 World Series champion Philadelphia Athletics. Every card features a member of the team, including most of the key players and manager Connie Mack. In all, five cards feature Hall of famers.

Measuring the same size as most tobacco cards of its day, T208 cards feature a similar design the the vaunted T206s with a white border around the card. However, there are differences in the design. The words World's Champions 1910 appear above each player and the outline of a white elephant appear on each player's jersey. Finally, the ink used for the last name and Athletics team name is blue. Card backs feature an advertisement for Cullivan's tobacco, with Athletics Series printed above it. At the bottom is the Syracuse street address for Cullivan's factory.

The pictures and players from the T208 set are also used in both the E104-1 and D359 Williams Baking cards. These cards aren't as tough as Fireside cards but can cause some confusion with newer collectors. However, each set can be properly identified by the advertising on their backs.

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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

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