I don't think the printing was ever completed as originally contemplated.
American Tobacco gets American Litho to print the white border tobacco cards, and the cards are distributed over 2 1/2 to 3 years.
Then AT and AL get going with the gold border tobacco cards, T205, in 1911. Some of them have backs that mention 400 designs. There's about 209 different cards, though. I think the gold border cards were more expensive to produce. For whatever reason, the gold border series ceased production / distribution after about a year. And it seems to me it lacked completion as originally contemplated.
AT and AL then started with the brown border cards. I don't think they were completed as originally planned, either.
I think that with both the gold border cards and the brown border cards, some stars weren't included because they were being held out for later, to aid with tobacco sales. And it is realistic that an additional factor was that some stars wanted compensation for being depicted in the set.
Wagner would fit in that compensation category. And I think Plank was loyal to Philadelphia, and the caramel folks there. That's been discussed in a previous thread. I think that's why Plank was removed from the white border cards. And may well be why Plank wasn't in the subsequent AL issues.
This message has been edited by Greatwake on Jan 18, 2009 1:49 PM
I think T206 Collector is correct. even if it is the case that the T205 production was truncated for some reason. Thus, Wagner did not want his image used to sell cigarettes that kids might pursue (documented in an issue of the Sporting News I believe from 1910). It is still unknown why Plank was sort of pulled, then included in the 350 series, then pulled again. Ted has an elaborate theory about this. Maybe somebody else can find the link where it was discussed.
Has new information surfaced that supports the theory that Wagner sought compensation for being included on tobacco cards? For as far as I know, every older source says that he did not want to lend his picture to set of cigarette cards that were being collected by children.
Even though there may have been plans for 400 cards in the T205 set, it seems unlikely to me that they were holding stars back for a second series. Aside from Wagner and Plank, the only really big name missing was Lajoie. I can't explain why Lajoie is missing. But it seems pretty clear that they were trying to issue most or all of the stars in the first series.
Now, can someone explain to me why Mathewson and Plank don't appear in M101-5? They were at the end of their careers, but so were a whole bunch of other players in the set. Wouldn't it be cool to see Matty as a Red?
Here are the links to my theory regarding the T206 Plank card, that I posted here 2 years ago.
I offer a plausible explanation why American Tobacco withdrew their Plank card from the T206
set (and never issued Plank on their subsequent T-sets).
Not to be disagreeable, but I think most of those missing stars are easily explained:
Mack - I believe T205 has a pretty limited selection of managers.
Alexander - A rookie. A very good rookie, but that wasn't known until the set was in production.
Donlin - Retired for the 1909 and 1910 seasons. He played a partial season in 1911 when T205 was issued. My guess is that he was not on any active roster when the set was put together.
Plank and Wagner - I agree with the theory that whatever caused their removal from T205 kept them out of T206. The American Tobacco Company didn't want to play with fire twice.
Donovan - A good player, but at the tail end of his career, so it's not a great surprise that he's missing.
Wood - His breakout year was 1912, after T205 was issued. He was a regular for Boston in 1910 and 1911, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to think he would be in the set. But it's also not a shock that he's missing. He's also not in the T206 set.
Hooper - He was far from a star when the 1911 season began. He had just one full season behind him and batted only .267.
Jackson - When the 1911 season began, he had played only 30 games his whole career.
Coombs, Lajoie, and Crawford -- These seem to me to be the only difficult to explain missing stars. I don't know why they're missing, but there are a lot of sets with a few missing stars.
I still think that if a second series was planned, then a few players from among Cobb, Mathewson, Collins, Speaker, Cy Young, Brown, etc. would have been held back.
It isn't all about the busting of the American Tobacco Trust. Why stop gold borders to make brown borders because of that??
If that was the reason then we wouldn't have brown border cards. Or, with brown border cards starting up, they seem unfinished to and you can't blame that one on trustbusting at that point in time.
I think that after the trust breakup, the printing was economized a bit, going to the new brown border style. AND, it is about the money and the consent of players...
I think they start up the brown border cards and then just give up on it because it is too much trouble for one or a few brands to fool with. With multiple brands in an issue it seems that the brands are still connected, at a time when the companies were supposed to be severed and showing independence. So they just gave up on cards. Otherwise, why no cigarette cards as we knew them in 1915, or immediately after The Great War??
I was thinking about the "2nd series theory" but the fact that those players also don't have end panels in T202s would indicate they were left out for some reason other then a second series of T205s not being produced.
Interestingly, aside from Crawford and Lajoie not having T205s and T202 end panels, they also aren't present in the T207 and T204 issues.