30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hail to the Chief

If you were to put together a list of iconic vintage sets, there's a pretty good chance that the 1909-1911 T206 tobacco cards would make the cut.  For years I dreamed of owning any card from that set.  Then Corky over at Pack War fulfilled that dream when he sent me a T206 Doc Powers for my Athletics collection.

You'd think that it would have quenched my thirst... but the Powers only increased my desire to find another T206 for my collection.  This time around, I wanted it to be a hall of famer.  So I looked over the checklist and decided to target one of the Chief Benders, because he was affordable and an Athletic.

The past few years I've been eye balling copies here and there on eBay, but never made it a priority.  Then The Commish found a copy for his collection back in March and motivated me to search for my own copy much more aggressively.

Fast forward to a two weeks ago and voilà:

According to the PSA Set Registry, there are twenty different T206 Benders out there.  However if you exclude the different back variations the list drops down to three:  portrait, pitching with trees in back, and pitching with no trees.

Although the portrait card is rarer and more valuable, I like the look of Bender in action with the trees in the background.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Mr. Bender, he was a pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1903 to 1914.  He received the nickname "Chief", because of his Native American decent.  His father was German and his mother was Chippewa and the family were members of the Ojibwe Tribe.

In 1953 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Sadly he passed away the following year.

But thanks to cards like this T206 tobacco card, Chief Bender's legacy will live on in for generations to come.

Long live the Chief!  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. The pride of Crow Wing County, Minnesota! Always nice to add a T206 to the collection.

  2. I wish I had the budget to add more T206s to my collection, because they're quite addicting. Nice Chief!

  3. congrats Fuji! a great looking card!

  4. I'm partial to the T205's myself, but it's nice to be able to say you have cards from the turn of the century and not the one that started with a "2".

    So many of the Native Americans were called Chief back then. I always think Bender was on the Giants, but that was Meyers.

  5. Fantastic, these cards are challenging but well worth the effort to pick up.

  6. Congrats on picking up a Sweet card. (Pun intended)

  7. 🎶Sweet Caporal.
    Good times never seemed so good.
    It's natural.
    To believe they never would.🎶

    Seriously though, congrats on the T206. One of these days I'll get a tobacco card or two and every time someone else posts one I feel that itch.

  8. Fantastic pickup! Congrats!

  9. That's a wonderful card. Of the three different Benders in the set that's my favorite as well. Congrats on the pickup!

  10. That's a real beauty Fuji, congrats!

  11. Thanks guys! It was nice to finally cross this one off of the list.

    gcrl - I originally had a more detailed bio on him, but shortened it, because the post was dragging out.

    Nick - I'd be surprised if anyone has a T206 laying around in a dime box. But if there's anyone out there who will find one... it'll be you. :)

    GCA - Just added the t205 to the list.

    Collecting Cutch - Very punny.

    Nick Vossbrink - Dang it. Now that song is stuck in my head.

    Commish - Thanks for the inspiration!