A few extra letters turn a common T206 into something that's worth...talking about.
I can't afford it. Not without robbing a bank or winning the lottery. But I'm glad to see the T206 Joe Doyle "NY Nat'l" come to light.
The story behind this error card is as pure as they come and takes you back to the days when we thought of scarce cards as cool rather than ultra valuable. Larry Fritsch, thumbing through his stacks (yes, I said 'stacks') of T206 cards one day in the 1970s, noticed something unusual about his Doyle cards. He'd found one that was different than the rest. It had "Nat'l" next to the "NY" designation on the front.
As knowledgeable as they came, Fritsch knew the card was scarce. At least 30 years later--probably more like 35--we know how scarce. Robert Edward Auctions is selling one of what they believe is no more than six legitimate Doyle error cards that exist. It was in the long-time collection of Charlie Conlon, a Michigan collector of the first order who died suddenly not long ago. Even if there are somehow five more hidden in collections or stashes of collectors who aren't that knowledgeable, it's still an iconic card.
For those who think that error cards started with 1981 Fleer and Donruss, it's quite an interesting story. Any real baseball collector would want a Doyle--or at least want to see one. It's just fascinating to think that the printer took the time to fix what most people back then probably didn't think that much about. But a baseball fan--or someone who got ahold of those early cards knew Joe Doyle didn't play in the NL. They fixed it--just as they fixed the spelling of Sherry Magee's name in the T206 set. Almost 100 years later, we're glad they did, if only to put the focus back on the goofy stuff that can only excite true collectors.