Between 1909 and 1911 the American Tobacco Co. produced the most legendary set in the annals of baseball card collecting: T206. The company manufactured many brands of cigarettes that included trading cards and each had their own brand specific advertising on the back of the card. The set was produced in three series featuring 524 different front possibilities with 38 different back advertisements. For collectors interested in chasing some of the rarest backs, an upcoming auction will provide a rare opportunity.
Heritage Auctions will offer a PSA 4 Ty Cobb (bat off shoulder) with a Uzit advertising back in its November auction. The rare back makes it among the most elusive Cobb cards in the hobby. It’s expected to sell for at least $40,000.
Uzit was included in the 460 series of T206 cards printed in 1911. Uzit backs are among the more scarce T206 backs and command a premium. When paired with a Hall of Famer the demand increases and with it the price.
When SGC began grading cards they did not note the back advertisement in their population reports and therefore the statistics are not 100-percent accurate. However, since they began notating the backs in the population report they have only graded 117 total with no player having more than six examples and many having only one. PSA reports having graded 131 cards with Uzit backs, but in the company’s infancy, they were also not recording advertising backs.
It is clear from the population reports of both major grading companies that the Uzit backs are indeed rare. Therefore, when any Hall of Famer comes to auction it is noteworthy. However, when that player is Cobb the sale is significant.
This example is the second highest graded by PSA out of eight total submissions. SGC has graded four of the Cobb Uzit cards, with one equal in grade to the one Heritage is offering and none rated higher.
With only 12 graded examples between PSA and SGC it makes the Cobb with the Uzit back less reported than the Cobb with the ultra rare Ty Cobb Tobacco advertising back.
A few Uzit Cobbs have sold at auction in the recent past. A PSA 6 sold for $29,375 in 2007. Six years ago, an SGC 20 brought $14,402. Last month, an SGC 40 (VG) sold for $41,218.
The card will be among thousands of lots that will be part of an auction set to begin October 25 and end in sections between November 16 and 18. The auction preview can be viewed online.