Ty Cobb Dietsche Postcard – Batting Pose (SGC VG/EX+ 4.5)
The achievements of the immortal Ty Cobb easily place him as one of the finest players in our National Pastime's glorious history, justified by his eternal place as one of baseball's five 1936 Hall of Fame charter members. Most elite vintage collectors painstakingly seek his most eclectic artifacts, especially his early cardboard relics issued during his first few years in the Major Leagues. Synonymous with virtually every standout ball player, the most sought-after card is typically associated with their inaugural Major League season and labeled that players "rookie card". Unfortunately, in Cobb's case, this is where it gets slightly sketchy since his first appearance on a professional baseball related card was not realized until 1907 and in that calendar year, a significant number of issues were distributed with his hallowed image.
Cobb broke into the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers in 1905, playing in a mere 41 games while hitting a paltry .240. Quickly, Cobb bounced back in 1906 to bat an impressive .316, the first of an unfathomable 23 consecutive years of exceeding the exalted .300 benchmark. Throughout his incomparable 24 seasons, he led the American League a record 12 years in batting average including an incredible 9 consecutive years from 1907 thru 1915! He also happened to exceed the exalted .400 mark three times, with all of the above totaling to an unfathomable and record setting .366 lifetime batting average. After his sterling 1906 season, he stroked 212 hits in 1907, his first full season in which he batted .350 and captured his inaugural batting championship. Due to his newly found star status, manufacturers began utilizing his image on various cardboard related products throughout the 1907 season, mainly postcards and the seldom surfacing and ultra-valuable W600 Sporting Life Cabinet. Some of the postcard issues include the A.C. Dietsche, Wolverine News, H.M. Taylor, and Novelty Cutlery with all of these issues staking claim (along with the W600 Sporting Life Cabinet) as Cobb's true rookie cards.
One of those postcards, the Dietsche issue, was distributed for 3 years between 1907 and 1909 by the A.C. Dietsche company of Detroit, Michigan. The 1907 series included 16 Detroit players, the 1908 issues included 22 Detroit players and the 1909 issues included only 4 Tiger subjects. Sharp black & white player poses were set against a background that was predominately black. It is the 1907 Ty Cobb rookie issue that resides as Cobb's true rookie card, with the reverse side "Copyright" definitely stating along the left edge which year the card was distributed. Yet, it is the 1908 issue that unquestionably stands as the much rarer issue. To reiterate, the two issues are easily distinguished by the exact year listed on the verso's copyright line along the left edge, with some of 1908 issues even depicting Cobb's name in white text between his feet on the obverse side's lower edge.
Seldom do 1908 versions of this cornerstone issue surface for the taking, and Memory Lane now proudly offers one of those extremely scarce 1908 examples in a spectacular SGC VG/EX 4 holder! While the 1908 Cobb Dietsche is ultra-rare to say the least, unfortunately we cannot provide accurate SGC or PSA population report counts for this obscure 1908 offering since both prestigious grading companies do not distinguish between the three years (1907-1909). The COMBINED SGC and PSA census reports currently list 100+ Cobb Dietsche postcards, with a majority of them issued during the 1907 season. Regarding aesthetics, Cobb's hallowed batting image literally "jumps" off the surface due to the near perfect photo contrast and resolution.
Incredibly, the dark sepia background portrays NONE of the typical snow spottiness collectors are accustomed to see on virtually all Dietsche Cobb issues. Indeed, this magnificent 4.5 offering reveals a bold/dark setting with only some negligible chipping along the left and upper edges. Even corner wear is consistent with the grade, no obtrusive surface flaws are evident, and an unmarked verso stand as the final exclamations point for this "scarce for the grade" marvel. As previously stated, the "1908" text is situated along the verso's left edge, and the brief Ty Cobb bio reads as follows: "Tyrus R. Cobb, right fielder of the Detroit Base Ball Club, has played but a few seasons in major league ball and is recognized all over the country as one of the most sensational players the game has ever had.
He is noted for his tremendous speed; his brilliant sliding ability; his batting, throwing and fielding". While the A.C. Dietsche company was surely accurate with their final statement, what they or nobody could possibly forecast was that Cobb would go on to lead the league in batting not only in 1907 but for 9 consecutive seasons. Interestingly enough, the 1907 postcard includes virtually the exact biography except for one minor addition; they include a FINAL sentence suggesting that Cobb will lead the league again in 1908, which as we all know turned out to be an accurate prediction straight through the 1915 season. In closing, this is a grand opportunity to seize one of Cobb's rarest cardboard keepsakes, and one of the Georgia Peach's most highly coveted cardboard mementos issued near the beginning of his illustrious career!
MIN BID $2,000