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The first baseball cards were issued during the 1880s, when the Old Judge Company included them in packs of cigarettes. One of the most famous, and the highest-valued, of all baseball cards was a cigarette card. It features Hall of Famer Honus Wagner. The Honus Wagner card was found in the T-206 baseball card set issued by the American Tobacco Company in 1909. Honus Wagner, a non-smoker, was angered upon learning that his likeness had been included in the series. He demanded that his card be removed from the set. In 2000, a T-206 Wagner card was auctioned for $1.265 million.
In the 1930s tobacco companies had been replaced by gum and candy companies. The cards came in packs that most often included strips of chewing gum. When a collector thinks about the gum card issues from the 1930's, one of the first sets that will come to his mind is the 1933 Goudey.
The modern era of baseball cards began in 1948, when the Bowman Gum Company issued a set of black-and-white cards. Cards came in packages of one; they were accompanied by a stick of gum, and cost a penny. Then in 1951, Topps Chewing Gum issued its first cards. Topps quickly became the undisputed king of baseball cards and dominates the market today. The company began adding information to their cards: players' statistics, personal information, and team logos.