T206

The tobacco card set known as T206 was issued from 1909 to 1911 in cigarette and loose tobacco packs through 16 different brands owned by the American Tobacco Company. It is a landmark set in the history of baseball card collecting, due to its size and rarity, and the quality of its color lithographs.

History[edit]

The name T206 refers to the catalog designation assigned by Jefferson Burdick in his book The American Card Catalog. It is also known informally as the "White Border" set due to the distinctive white borders surrounding the lithographs on each card.

The T206 set consists of 524 cards. Over 100 of the cards picture minor league players. There are also multiple cards for the same player in different poses, different uniforms, or even with different teams after being traded (since the set was issued over a period of three years). The cards measure 1 716 by 2 58 inches (3.7 cm × 6.7 cm) which is considered by many collectors to be the standard tobacco card size.

The T206 set is the most popular and widely collected set of the tobacco/pre-war era. The historical significance of the set as well as the large number of variations give it enormous appeal to collectors. In addition, the set features many Baseball Hall of Fame members including Ty Cobb (who is pictured on 4 different cards), Walter Johnson, Cy Young, and Christy Mathewson. The value of the cards has led to a great deal of counterfeiting over the years. The T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories by Tom and Ellen Zappala and Peter Randall Publishers highlights the personal and professional lives of the players in the collection and discusses the values of the cards as well as the mystique behind the collection.

The Honus Wagner card[edit]

The T206 Wagner is the most valuable baseball card in existence, and even damaged examples are valued at $100,000 or more.[1] This is in part because of Wagner's place among baseball's immortals, as he was an original Hall of Fame inductee. More importantly, it is one of the scarcest cards from the most prominent of all vintage card sets.

Rarity[edit]

While the American Tobacco Trust, over three years and sixteen brands of cigarettes, distributed "tens or hundreds of thousands" of T206 cards for any given player,[2] it is estimated that only between 50 and 200 Wagner cards were ever distributed to the public,[3][4] and fewer still have survived to the present day. Several theories exist as to why the card is so rare. One theory is that the printing plate used to create Wagner's card broke early on in the production process, but Wagner was a major star at the time and new plates would almost certainly have been created. Another theory is that there was a copyright dispute between the American Tobacco Company and the artist who created the Wagner lithograph.[5]

The most commonly accepted theory is that the card was pulled from production because Wagner himself objected to the production of the card, but his motivation is unclear. Reports at the time indicated Wagner did not wish to associate himself with cigarettes,[6] possibly because he did not want to encourage children to smoke.[1] However, some collectors and historians have pointed out that Wagner, a user of chewing tobacco, allowed his image to appear on cigar boxes and other tobacco-related products prior to 1909 and may have objected to the card simply because he wanted more financial compensation for the use of his image.[1][7]

Value[edit]

A high-quality example of the Wagner card was sold at auction on eBay in 2000 for US$1.265 million.[3] In February 2007, the same card was sold for a record US$2.35 million.[8] In September 2007, the Wagner card changed hands again when SCP Auctions of Mission Viejo, California, which had bought minority ownership, brokered a new sale—this time for US$2.8 million, to a private collector. On August 1, 2008, noted memorabilia dealer John Rogers of North Little Rock, Arkansas paid US$1.6 million for a PSA 5MC (miscut) Wagner. Rogers stated he "was prepared to go much higher and is pleased with his investment." He added "the citizens of Arkansas deserve to see this treasure and I intend to make the card available to the public."[9] In April 2013, a T206 "jumbo" Wagner, so-called because it measured slightly larger than most other known examples, sold at auction for $2.1 million, reported to be a record price for the card.[10] That record was broken in October 2016 when the card was sold at auction for $3.12 million.[11]

In November 2010, a group of nuns from Baltimore sold a Wagner card for $262,000 in auction to Doug Walton, a sporting card store owner.[12]

Brands that produced T206 cards[edit]

Piedmont back of a T206.

T206 cards were issued with 18 different backs, representing the 16 different brands of cigarettes/tobacco with which the cards were issued. Due to the same card having different backs, there are actually far more than 524 "different" T206 cards. The actual number of front/back combination is not fully known as collectors still discover new combinations from time to time. The 18 backs are:

  • American Beauty — more thinly cut than other brands due to the narrower size of the cigarette packs
  • Autograph Back
  • Broadleaf
  • Carolina Brights
  • Coupon
  • Cycle
  • Drum
  • El Principe De Gales
  • Hindu — Found in both brown ink and red ink (rare)
  • Lenox — Found in both black and (rarely) brown ink
  • Old Mill — Found in black and, very rarely, brown inks. A single example of a blue backed Old Mill is known.[13]
  • Piedmont
  • Polar Bear — Only brand that is not cigarettes; Polar Bear was loose tobacco, also known as scrap tobacco
  • Sovereign
  • Sweet Caporal
  • Tolstoi
  • Ty Cobb — Not highly regarded as a T206 back as it is only found with a single image front [14]
  • Uzit
  • Blank — unprinted backs appear infrequently but are likely printing anomalies

392 Players[edit]

  • Ed Abbaticchio
  • Fred Abbott
  • Bill Abstein
  • Merle Adkins
  • Whitey Alperman
  • Red Ames
  • John Anderson
  • Frank Arellanes
  • Herman Armbruster
  • Harry Arndt
  • Jake Atz
  • Frank Baker
  • Neal Ball
  • Jap Barbeau
  • Cy Barger
  • Jack Barry
  • Shad Barry
  • Jack Bastian
  • Emil H. Batch
  • Johnny Bates
  • Harry Bay
  • Ginger Beaumont
  • Fred Beck
  • Beals Becker
  • Jake Beckley
  • George Bell
  • Chief Bender
  • Bill Bergen
  • Heinie Berger
  • Bill Bernhard
  • Bob Bescher
  • Joe Birmingham
  • Lena Blackburne
  • Jack Bliss
  • Frank Bowerman
  • Bill Bradley
  • David Brain
  • Kitty Bransfield
  • Roy Brashear
  • Ted Breitenstein
  • Roger Bresnahan
  • Al Bridwell
  • George Brown
  • Mordecai Brown
  • Al Burch
  • Fred Burchell
  • Jimmy Burke
  • Bill Burns
  • Donie Bush
  • John Butler
  • Bobby Byrne
  • Howie Camnitz
  • Billy Campbell
  • George Carey
  • Charles Carr
  • Bill Carrigan
  • Doc Casey
  • Peter Cassidy
  • Frank Chance
  • Bill Chappelle
  • Chappy Charles
  • Hal Chase
  • Jack Chesbro
  • Eddie Cicotte
  • Bill Clancy
  • Joshua Clarke
  • Fred Clarke
  • Nig Clarke
  • Bill Clymer
  • Ty Cobb
  • Cad Coles
  • Eddie Collins
  • Jimmy Collins
  • Bunk Congalton
  • Wid Conroy
  • Harry Covaleski
  • Doc Crandall
  • Bill Cranston
  • Gavvy Cravath
  • Sam Crawford
  • Birdie Cree
  • Lou Criger
  • Dode Criss
  • Monte Cross
  • Bill Dahlen
  • Paul Davidson
  • George Davis
  • Harry Davis
  • Frank Delehanty
  • Jim Delehanty
  • Ray Demmitt
  • Rube Dessau
  • Art Devlin
  • Josh Devore
  • Bill Dineen
  • Mike Donlin
  • Jiggs Donohue
  • Bill Donovan
  • Red Dooin
  • Mickey Doolan
  • Gus Dorner
  • Patsy Dougherty
  • Tom Downey
  • Jerome Downs
  • Joe Doyle
  • Larry Doyle
  • Jean Dubuc
  • Hugh Duffy
  • Jack Dunn
  • Joe Dunn
  • Bull Durham
  • Jimmy Dygert
  • Ted Easterly
  • Dick Egan
  • Kid Elberfeld
  • Roy Ellam
  • Clyde Engle
  • Steve Evans
  • Johnny Evers
  • Bob Ewing
  • George Ferguson
  • Hobe Ferris
  • Lou Fiene
  • James Flanagan
  • Art Fletcher
  • Elmer Flick
  • Russ Ford
  • Edward Foster
  • James Freeman
  • John Frill
  • Charles Fritz
  • Art Fromme
  • Chick Gandil
  • Bob Ganley
  • John Ganzel
  • Harry Gasper
  • Rube Geyer
  • George Gibson
  • Billy Gilbert
  • Wilbur Goode
  • Bill Graham
  • Peaches Graham
  • Dolly Gray
  • Ed Greminger
  • Clark Griffith
  • Myron Grimshaw
  • Bob Groom
  • Tom Guiheen
  • Ed Hahn
  • Robert Hall
  • William Hallman
  • John Hannifan
  • William F. Hart
  • James Henry Hart
  • Topsy Hartsel
  • Jack Hayden
  • J.R. Helm
  • Charlie Hemphill
  • Buck Herzog
  • Gordon Hickman
  • Bill Hinchman
  • Harry Hinchman
  • Doc Hoblitzell
  • Danny Hoffman
  • Harry C. Hoffman
  • Solly Hofman
  • Buck Hooker
  • Del Howard
  • Ernie Howard
  • Harry Howell
  • Miller Huggins
  • Rudy Hulswitt
  • John Hummel
  • George Hunter
  • Frank Isbell
  • Fred Jacklitsch
  • James B. Jackson
  • Hugh Jennings
  • Walter Johnson
  • Fielder Jones
  • Davy Jones
  • Tom Jones
  • Dutch Jordan
  • Tim Jordan
  • Addie Joss
  • Ed Karger
  • Willie Keeler
  • Joe Kelley
  • J.F. Kiernan
  • Ed Killian
  • Frank King
  • Rube Kisinger
  • Red Kleinow
  • Johnny Kling
  • Otto Knabe
  • John Knight
  • Ed Konetchy
  • Harry Krause
  • Rube Kroh
  • Otto Kruger
  • James LaFitte
  • Nap Lajoie
  • Joe Lake
  • Frank LaPorte
  • Arlie Latham
  • William Lattimore
  • James Lavender
  • Tommy Leach
  • Lefty Leifield
  • Ed Lennox
  • Harry Lentz
  • Glenn Liebhardt
  • Vive Lindaman
  • Perry Lipe
  • Paddy Livingstone
  • Hans Lobert
  • Harry Lord
  • Harry Lumley
  • Carl Lundgren
  • Nick Maddox
  • Sherry Magie
  • Bill Malarkey
  • William Maloney
  • George Manion
  • Rube Manning
  • Rube Marquard
  • Doc Marshall
  • Christy Mathewson
  • Al Mattern
  • Jack McAleese
  • George McBride
  • Pat McCauley
  • Moose McCormick
  • Pryor McElveen
  • Dennis McGann
  • James McGinley
  • Joe McGinnity
  • Ulysses McGlynn
  • John McGraw
  • Harry McIntyre
  • Matty McIntyre
  • Larry McLean
  • George McQuillan
  • Fred Merkle
  • George Merritt
  • Chief Meyers
  • Clyde Milan
  • Charles B. Miller
  • Dots Miller
  • William Milligan
  • Fred Mitchell
  • Mike Mitchell
  • Dan Moeller
  • Carlton Molesworth
  • Herbie Moran
  • Pat Moran
  • George Moriarty
  • Mike Mowrey
  • Dominic Mullaney
  • George Mullin
  • Danny Murphy
  • Red Murray
  • Chief Myers
  • William Nattress
  • Tom Needham
  • Simon Nicholls
  • Harry Niles
  • Rebel Oakes
  • Frank Oberlin
  • Peter O'Brien
  • Bill O'Hara
  • Rube Oldring
  • Charley O'Leary
  • William O'Neil
  • Albert Orth
  • William Otey
  • Orval Overall
  • Frank Owen
  • George Paige
  • Freddy Parent
  • Dode Paskert
  • Jim Pastorius
  • Harry Pattee
  • Fred Payne
  • Barney Pelty
  • Hub Perdue
  • George Perring
  • Archie Persons
  • Jeff Pfeffer
  • Jack Pfiester
  • James Phelan
  • Eddie Phelps
  • Deacon Phillippe
  • Oliver Pickering
  • Eddie Plank
  • Philip Poland
  • Jack Powell
  • Mike Powers
  • Billy Purtell
  • Ambrose Puttman
  • Lee Quillen
  • Jack Quinn
  • Newton Randall
  • Bugs Raymond
  • Edward Reagan
  • Ed Reulbach
  • R.H. Revelle
  • Bob Rhoades
  • Charlie Rhodes
  • Claude Ritchey
  • Louis Ritter
  • Isaac Rockenfeld
  • Claude Rossman
  • Nap Rucker
  • Dick Rudolph
  • Ray Ryan
  • Germany Schaefer
  • George Schirm
  • Larry Schlafly
  • Admiral Schlei
  • Boss Schmidt
  • Ossie Schreck
  • Frank Schulte
  • Jim Scott
  • Charles Seitz
  • Cy Seymour
  • William Shannon
  • Bayard Sharpe
  • Frank Shaughnessy
  • Al Shaw
  • Royal Shaw
  • Jimmy Sheckard
  • Bill Shipke
  • James Slagle
  • Carlos Smith
  • Frank Smith
  • Happy Smith
  • Heinie Smith
  • Sid Smith
  • Fred Snodgrass
  • Bob Spade
  • Tris Speaker
  • Tubby Spencer
  • Jake Stahl
  • Oscar Stanage
  • Dolly Stark
  • Charlie Starr
  • Harry Steinfeldt
  • Jim Stephens
  • George Stone
  • George Stovall
  • Samuel Strang
  • Gabby Street
  • Billy Sullivan
  • Ed Summers
  • Jeff Sweeney
  • Bill Sweeney
  • Jesse Tannehill
  • Lee Tannehill
  • Luther Taylor
  • Fred Tenney
  • Tony Thebo
  • John Thielman
  • Ira Thomas
  • Woodie Thornton
  • Joe Tinker
  • John Titus
  • Terry Turner
  • Bob Unglaub
  • Juan Violat
  • Rube Waddell
  • Heinie Wagner
  • Honus Wagner
  • Bobby Wallace
  • Ed Walsh
  • Jack Warhop
  • Jake Weimer
  • James Westlake
  • Zach Wheat
  • Doc White
  • Foley White
  • John F. White
  • Kaiser Wilhelm
  • Ed Willett
  • Jimmy Williams
  • Vic Willis
  • Chief Wilson
  • Hooks Wiltse
  • Lucky Wright
  • Cy Young
  • Irving M. Young
  • Heinie Zimmerman

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Onus on Honus owners", from "The Score" column, T.J. Quinn & Michael O'Keeffe, New York Daily News, November 27, 2005
  2. ^ quote by Keith Olbermann (2013-03-25). "Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner (ESPN Films' 30 For 30 Shorts)". Prospect Productions & ESPN Films. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  3. ^ a b eBay press release regarding sale of Wagner card July 17, 2000
  4. ^ "eBay invokes new rules for baseball card auction", Troy Wolverton, CNET News.com, July 5, 2000
  5. ^ From T206museum.com, December 2005
  6. ^ "Wagner a Wonder", The Sporting News, October 24, 1912
  7. ^ "That's the Ticket: Learning Economics through Artifacts and Baseball History", Jeff Arnett, Memories and Dreams (National Baseball Hall of Fame quarterly newsletter)
  8. ^ Rogers, John (2007-02-27). "Honus Wagner baseball card sells for record $2.3 million". Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  9. ^ "T206 Honus Wagner Card Sold Again". Sports Collectors Daily. 2007-09-06.
  10. ^ "Honus Wagner card sells for $2.1 million". ESPN. 2013-04-06.
  11. ^ Seideman, David (December 29, 2016). "In 2016 The Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Cards And Memorabilia Commanded A Record $12 Million+". Forbes. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Baltimore Nuns Sell Rare Honus Wagner Baseball Card". KerryOnWorld. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  13. ^ http://forloveofthecards.blogspot.com/2012/08/this-is-amazing-there-has-been.html
  14. ^ http://www.t206resource.com/Back%20Rankings%20List.html

External links[edit]