Cobb. Mathewson. Johnson. McGraw. Name any player from the tobacco card era and there’s a decent chance his baseball card was quietly sitting in a virtually unknown collection of tobacco cards inside a Pennsylvania home.
Now, this long running but fresh-to-the-hobby collection consisting of hundreds of pre-War gems, is on the auction block.
Lancaster,PA-based Wheatland Auction Services is offering the cards—including a T206 Ty Cobb red portrait factory 42 example graded BVG 7 expected to fetch thousands—in its first auction of 2016.
The century-old stash belonged to a man who willed them to his long-time caretaker and have not previously been offered to the hobby at large.
The group also includes a T206 Cobb (bat off shoulder) graded SGC 70, three T205 Cobb cards two T206 Walter Johnson factory 42 (hands at chest) cards, a T206 Bill O’Hara St. Louis Nat’l with Polar Bear back (BVG 2), two T206 Ray Demmitt St. Louis American with Polar Bear back (BVG 1), multiple T206 Cy Young and Christy Mathewson cards and a 1911 E94 Hans Lobert “Oh You Fan” overprint (BVG 3.5).
In all over 1,200 cards were consigned by the caretaker’s son. Most are being offered in the current auction with others to be sold this spring. The collection includes lower grade examples of many tobacco cards, including numerous Hall of Famers.
The auction isn’t just centered on deadball era players, though.
Post-War collectors will have a chance at hundreds of early 1950s Topps & Bowman baseball cards, multiple bulk vintage lots from 1909 through 1979, a large assortment of autographed and game used memorabilia, and current era cards and sealed hobby wax boxes and other items.
Highlights include a 1954 Bowman Ted Williams (BVG 6.5), a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle (BVG 6), 1952 Topps Willie Mays (BVG 4), a 1929 Cubs World Series press pin, a game-worn Derek Jeter jersey from the 2002 season, an uncut sheet of 1961 Fleer Football including Jack Kemp and other Hall of Famers and baseballs signed by President Gerald Ford, Mickey Mantle and others. A quick tour through the listings reveals some other notable items:
- 1954 Topps Ernie Banks Rookie card – BVG 4
- 1953 Bowman Mantle/Berra/Bauer Card – BVG 5
- 1953 Bowman Mickey Mantle – BVG 3
- 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle – BVG 2.5
- 1965 MacGregor Advisory Staff Roberto Clemente – BVG 8.5
- Complete vintage sports card sets and partial sets
- Muhammad Ali Signed Everlast Boxing Glove – PSA
- Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Year Signed Baseball – COA from Mariners
- Michael Jordan signed 16” x 20” framed photo – Upper Deck Authenticated
- Wilt Chamberlain Cut Autograph Photo Display – JSA
- 1973-74 Flyers Team Signed Hockey Stick w. Barry Ashbee autograph – JSA
- 2011-12 SP Authentic Michael Jordan auto BGS 9.5
- 2000 Score Millennium Peyton Manning auto #3/10
- Multiple bulk vintage baseball lots from 1909 through 1979, including small lots of T206 and T205 cards.
- Vintage football cards
- Autographed items from Hall of Famers such as Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Joe DiMaggio, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Julius Erving, and others.
The auction is slated to close on March 6 at 7 PM EST.
Wheatland is now offering in-house shipping beginning with this auction. To register for the auction and see all items, visit WheatlandAuctionServices.com.