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Grandpa's T206 Baseball Card Collection

Over 175 Tobacco Cards Featuring Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson

  • April 05, 2019
  • Leighton Sheldon

1909-11 T206 Walter Johnson Hands at ChestI Would Like an Appraisal

We received an email inquiry, not dissimilar to many others that we receive on a daily basis, about a collection that consisted of more than 150 tobacco cards that the owner would like to have appraised.  One of our dedicated customer service specialists promptly contacted the owner and discussed the collection and was able to gather details and get the owner to forward us images of the cards in the collection to help aid in preparing the evaluation. 

Adhered in Album

Upon receiving the T206 images, one of our vintage card specialists began reviewing the photos, prepared an Excel spreadsheet and began evaluating the cards.  We provided a very conservative preliminary evaluation based solely upon the uncertainty of the condition of the cards pending removal from the album and valued them ranging from FR to GD.

The owner was hesitant to remove the cards from the album as they were adhering to the adhesive contact paper backing.  We've seen these "contact adhesive-style" albums in the past and the result of removing cards from them varies.  Sometimes, they release easily, sometimes they do not release at all.  Many times, upon coming out of the album, the adhesive leaves stains on the back of the cards.

Quick Turnaround

Amazingly, we were able to process this collection from start to finish in a week -- and that's with traveling to a card convention for 4 days over the weekend -- a true testament to our process and to our specialists.  We were contacted on a Wednesday, provided a preliminary evaluation by Thursday and arranged to meet and pick up with the owner to review the collection on Monday.

After picking up the collection and receiving permission to remove the cards from the album, we were able to provide a full evaluation based upon the condition of each and every card with conditions ranging from PR to EX.  We presented the full evaluation to the owner with our purchase offer with was much, much more than we previously presented (but we anticipated this once we were able to view the collecting in-hand).  The owner asked for some time to review the offer with the family and we eventually agreed to a price and purchased the collection -- less than a week after the initial contact!  

Hall of Famers

The T206 Set boasts a bevy of Hall of Fame players and is best known for two of the most difficult prewar baseball cards (Honus Wagner and Eddie Plank) and this collection was not a disappointment.  While there were no Ty Cobb or Cy Young cards, there was still plenty of star power.  While there were no duplicate in the collection, the T206 set does have many players in various poses (or different teams if they were traded during the several years the set was issued).  Several of the Hall of Famers were found in multiple poses within the collection.

Christy Mathewson was featured in his Portrait version while Tris Speaker appeared in the singular pose that he has in the set.  Part of the Chicago Cubs legendary Hall of Fame double-play combination of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance, Frank Chance appears in the collection on his Yellow Background Portrait pose.

1909-1911 T 206 Christy Mathewson Portrait1909-1911 T206 Tris Speaker1909-1911 T206 Frank Chance Portrait Yellow Background
Christy Mathewson (Portrait), Tris Speaker, Frank Chance (Portrait - Yellow Background)

"Wee" Willie Keeler appeared on both his Portrait and his Batting posed while Mordecai Brown appeared throwing in both Chicago and Cubs jerseys while Fred Clarke could be found with his stoic Portrait as well as his Batting release.  Walter "The Big Train" Johnson was depicted in both his Pitching and Portrait cards.

1909-1911 T206 Willie Keeler Portrait1909-1911 T206 Mordecai Brown Pitching Chicago1909-1911 T206 Fred Clarke Portrait
Willie Keeler (Portrait), Mordecai Brown (Throwing - Chicago), Fred Clarke (Portrait)

1909-1911 T206 Willie Keeler with Bat1909-1911 T206 Christy Mathewson Portrait1909-1911 T206 Fred Clarke with Bat
Willie Keeler (with Bat), Walter Johnson (Portrait), Fred Clarke (with Bat)

And There's More

While the previously listed Hall of Famers would make for a pretty exciting haul, they were just an appetizer.  The list of other Hall of Famers included in this collection continued with Frank "Homerun" Baker, Zack Wheat, Frank Duffy, Jack Chesbro, Sam Crawford, Miller Higgins, Clark Griffith, Miller Huggins, Ed Walsh, George Davis and Roger Bresnahan. And there was plenty of additional star power as well the Black Sox scandal's Ed Cicotte.

Just One Variation

1909-1911 T206 Carl Lundgren Chicago NLSurprisingly, given the fact that there were 177 different cards, there was only one of the tough variations which was Carl Lundgren - Chicago.  176 of the 177 cards boasted advertising backs from Piedmont and Sweet Caporal with the solitary exception being an American Beauty back featuring Cecil Ferguson.

Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year, it will be at the Stephens Convention Center in the Rosemont section of Chicago, IL and it has also been in Cleveland, Atlantic City and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!

Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.

Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.

We Are Always Buying

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.

The "Grandpa's T206 Baseball Card Collection" Video:

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