Collectors of early baseball cards are getting a chance to bid on some fresh-to-market material as Wheatland Auction Services kicks off its largest sale to date. The collection boasts dozens of mid-to-high grade 1909-1911 T206 tobacco cards, including a Ty Cobb green portrait, along with fellow Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Hughie Jennings, Addie Joss and Fred Clarke.
The cards originally belonged to a man who passed them down to his grandson after keeping them in a cabinet for decades. “The young man loves sports memorabilia, but pre-War cards aren’t his main interest, so the family is helping him sell them and we’re thrilled so many T206 collectors are getting a chance to bid on these,” said Stacy Whisman of Wheatland Auction Services.
The company’s auction is its largest to date, with 779 lots up for bid. In addition to the T206 cards, the family owned collection also includes three 1909 Colgan’s Chips with a square Ty Cobb proof among them and some 1933 Buttercream (R306) cards. They’re joined by numerous other vintage and modern era sports cards, autographed memorabilia and more.
Also among the premier lots is a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig that originated in the collection of Nat C. Strong, a Negro Leagues baseball executive. Strong also worked for the Spalding Sporting Goods Company in the 1920s, and they made a limited run of this model baseball, which features red and green stitching. Both Gehrig and Ruth penned the same panel of the ball, which includes two other indecipherable signatures.
Other autographed items include bats signed by the likes of Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, a Roger Maris signed baseball card, a Roy Campanella cut signature and various items from Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Wayne Gretzky and Larry Bird and dozens of others.
Among the more unique pieces is a copy Babe Ruth’s Baseball Game, a tabletop venture Ruth endorsed as his career was winding down, a vintage baseball card/gumball machine with cards, complete sets of 1960 Topps and Fleer Football, 1970 Topps football, 1969-70 Topps Basketball and 1964 Topps Giants Baseball, and hundreds of vintage and modern era sports cards including a 1968 Topps/Milton Bradley Nolan Ryan rookie.
The auction runs through Sunday, December 7. Lots will begin closing at 6 PM that evening.