Many vintage baseball card collectors love the old tobacco cards that are more than a century old at this point. While Collectors Dashboard feel that the 1887 to 1890 N172 Old Judge should be considered “The Monster” baseball card set, the reality is that the 1909 to 1911 T206 baseball card set from the American Tobacco Company by and large has the most sought after cards of all the sets from that era. With 524 cards in the set, and with a whopping graded population of more than 256,000 graded examples by PSA alone, these cards sell routinely on eBay and other auction or fixed price venues.
The reality is that some collectors will not have the same views on cheap versus expensive cards, but collectors are still finding low price bargain cards from the monster T206 set. Some of these bargains are even in Hall of Fame (HOF) players such as Marquard, Bender, Breshnahan, Speaker, Tinker, Huggins, McGraw and others.
T206 cards are selling, and collectors can still accumulate many of these cards for prices that are still quite reasonable. Collectors Dashboard wanted to show some of the recent sales that have been in T206 cards to demonstrate first hand just how many cards sell routinely.
A fresh search of sold items on auction format from eBay showed that T206 common cards are still selling for $30 to $40 in ungraded condition, not counting the ripped cards and not including shipping and tax. Many of these common player T206 cards are not even that competitive for those who are wanting to build categories or sub-sets of this set.
Again, with over 500 cards it would be a true monster to assemble considering it is more than a century old and considering that some of the key cards (not even counting Honus Wagner, Eddie Plank and the error cards) ate snapped up every auction at higher and higher prices.
Even Hall of Fame players can still be acquired affordably in many cases in the T206 series. On October 3, 2021 a T206 Rube Marquard (pitching, follow through variation) with a Piedmont back sold for $124.50 after 7 bids. It was ungraded but appeared to be a card in strong condition for its age.
And sometimes set collectors get the rare opportunity to buy a whole slug of T206 cards all at once. On September 27, 2021, a vintage lot of 183 cards from the T206 set with Piedmont and Sweet Caporal backs sold for $8,877.00 after 26 bids. That comes to a price of $48.50 per card, which sounded high considering that so many common cards sell for $27 to $40 as is. That said, individual shipping costs of $3 to $6 and the hassle of opening each card individually can add up quick.
On September 19, 2021 a lot of 10 common T206 cards sold for $350.00 ($35 per card) with $11.90 shipping.
And in PSA graded cards, even in the 1, 1.5 and 2 PSA grades, sold for prices of $35 to $60 per card throughout September. In some cases that almost translates to getting the card for almost free considering the cost of grading, taxes and shipping that have to be considered.And on September 5, 2021 a graded lot of 15 T206 cards sold for $473.88 after 14 bids.
Collectors Dashboard also went to eBay for “Sold” T206 cards that were in auction format. This skips over any “Buy it Now” and “or Best Offer” cards because it is impossible to know those actual prices. These are some of the sales we have seen over the last month or so that have been in stars, rare backs and Hall of Fame player cards:
- 9/27/21 – T206 Roger Bresnahan Batting (rare Cycle back) BVG 1 sold for $255.00 after 30 bids
- 9/26/21 – T206 Tris Speaker (Piedmont) graded SGC 1 sold for $518.00 after 37 bids.
- 9/26/21 – T206 Tris Speaker (Piedmont) ungraded but with a clean front sold for $649.69 after 71 bids, and on 9/24 another ungraded Tris Speaker with many wrinkles on the card sold for $255.00 after 27 bids.
- 9/23/21 – T206 Zack Wheat (Sweet Caporal) sold for $113.50 after 18 bids, but the card was described as having a thin crease down the middle of the card.
- 9/20/21 – T206 PSA 3 Joe Doyle NY (error Missing League) sold for $330.00 after 2 bids.
- 9/19/21 – T206 Joe Kelley (Polar Bear back) ungraded sold for $103.50 after 6 bids.
- 9/19/21 – T206 Christy Mathewson (Dark Cap variation) Sweet Caporal graded PSA 2 sold for $1,080.72 after 14 bids.
- 9/18/21 – T206 Christy Mathewson graded CSG 2.5 (GD) sold for $1,225.00 after 54 bids.
- 9/17/21 – T206 Frank Arellanes Red Sox with a rare Carolina Brights back that was ungraded sold for $1,843.18 after 38 bids, and on 9/12 a less rare and far more common Piedmont card (ungraded) sold for just $51.00 after 10 bids.
- 9/16/21 – T206 Tris Speaker Sweet Caporal ungraded sold for $380.00 after 36 bids.
- 9/14/21 – T206 Hal Chase, New York (Piedmont) ungraded sold for $53.00 after 27 bids.
- 9/12/21 – T206 Hal Chase (Sweet Caporal) graded PSA 4 sold for $243.50 after 25 bids.
- 9/12/21 – T206 Joe Tinker (Hands on knees) Piedmont grades PSA 5 (MC) sold for $469.00 after 22 bids.
- 9/12/21 – T206 Miller Huggins (Hands at mouth) Piedmont, graded PSA 2 sold for $256.76 after 25 bids.
- 9/12/21 – T206 Tommy Leach, Pirates (rare TOLSTOI back) graded PSA sold for $168.55 after 22 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 John McGraw (Glove At Hip) Piedmont ungraded and weak condition sold for $73.00 after 2 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 Fred Merkle (Old Mill) ungraded sold for $107.54 after 22 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 Chief Meyers (Cycle back) ungraded sold for $425.00 after 22 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 Chief Bender (Cycle back) ungraded sold for $482.86 after 19 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 Ed Walsh (Old Mill) ungraded sold for $623.99 after 14 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 Frank Baker (Old Mill) ungraded sold for $338.88 after 27 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 Frank Chance (Old Mill) ungraded sold for $322.99 after 18 bids.
- 9/5/21 – T206 Johnny Evers (Old Mill) ungraded sold for $276.00 after 18 bids.
While some of these prices may look high, the reality is that it shows that collectors can still win T206 cards for affordable prices when they are patient and selective in their bidding. Sports card investors who are buying vintage cards (graded and ungraded) are also going to be in the mix from time to time.