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T215 Pirate Baseball Cards

T215 Pirate Baseball Cards

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It's not known in hobby circles why T215 Pirates were lumped in with the same catalog number as T215 Red Cross cards. They do share a similar design with the first type of the Red Cross cards, but they were printed separately and distributed in a much different place.
T215 Pirates were one of the few card sets featured in the American Card Catalog to have been printed outside of the United States. They were printed by W.D. & H.O. Wills in London, England and supposedly distributed to servicemen in the South Seas, which were places like the Philippines, the various islands across the South Pacific, the Panama Canal Zone and other far-flung areas. Since the world had not yet been tossed into the maelstrom of war in 1912, there were very few servicemen at that time, and even fewer who would have brought the cards home with them. As a result, they are incredibly scarce.

Card fronts are like many of the tobacco cards of their era, with a lithograph of a player with a white border. A last name, team city and league affiliation (if necessary) appear below the picture in brown ink. The backs feature a green picture of a pack of Pirate cigarettes. That makes them the only cards that actually showed the image of the product on them.

It is speculated that many of the cards available from the set have a population of single digits.

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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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