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T206 Unlisted Players - Proof

(Mastro Fine Sports Auctions - November 18-19, 1999)

The T206 tobacco card set has been avidly pursued since its inception in 1909. This first huge full color series has tormented collectors for 90 years but it has been accepted to be complete at 523 cards including the Doyle variation. It was speculated that there may have been a group of proofs produced of players and poses not seen in the cards actually inserted into packs or cataloged by collectors.

About 25 years ago a gentlemen walked into a card show in New York and stunned those in attendance by producing about 400 T206 proof cards (blank backed with printers proof lines) and about 80 T3 proofs. Of that amazing group only one was of a player or pose not already known. It was of Eddie Collins in a pose not previously seen. That Collins card was sold about 5 years ago for an astronomical sum of money.

This is a group of eight T206 proofs, each of which represents a player and pose not previously cataloged. Each is unique and each expands the known universe of T206 subjects by one. All are of Southern League players, judging from the uniforms shown on the players. They are definitely not from the group that emerged in New York. Those cards were all fresh and unhandled. This fabulous octet was treated like the vast majority of T206's that we see. Worn corners, creases and writing all appear indicating that the previous owners suspected nothing of the unique nature of the cards. Any one of these cards would individually make any collection of T206's one of a kind. A quantum increase of eight is monumental. While condition is not the overriding factor in the value of these solitary specimens we nevertheless present a report for posterity.

Condition Report: (Starting from top left corner)

  • A Chatanooga batter with evenly rounded corners, solid VG-EX
  • A Danville pitcher in a home uniform in his windup, "Kline" is written in the lower border in pencil with tiny paper chipping loss, VG
  • A player reaching to make a catch in a road uniform with an "M" on the chest and hat (Macon or Memphis), with tack hole in upper border, GD-VG
  • A Jacksonville(?) player portrait in a home jersey, a crease across top and "Rath" written in bottom border in pencil and numbers scribbled in pencil on the back, GD
  • A player in a batting follow through in a road uniform with an "M" on the hat and jersey, corner creases and "Rougherty, Mil" written in the lower border in ink and "Rougherty" in pencil on the back, a crease runs diagonally from left to right (the owner misidentified the team),GD
  • A Jacksonville player portrait in a home jersey, VG-EX
  • A Chatanooga player in a batting pose with two creases and a small nip out of the lower left border, on the back is written "Alcock" in pencil with some scribbled numbers, GD-VG
  • A pitcher for Jacksonville in a road uniform with the name "Mullany" written in pencil in the bottom border, VG+

    All cards are very conservatively graded, as a previously unseen lot they are eye popping and connoisseurs of early tobacco will immediately be taken with their rarity. One of the most significant finds in the history of our hobby. Never before have the subjects of a major set been increased by eight new additions simultaneously. This is not an obscure set. It has been analyzed, dissected cataloged and checklisted for 90 years. The addition of eight subjects is both startling and monumental. All are blank backed and all bear the printer's proof marks in each border marking them as genuine proofs. Don't bother to check a price guide, they can only be found here.

    Minimum Bid: $10,000
    Final Bid including 15% buyer premium: $48,042

    Additional Note: The eight players are:
    -- Alcock, Chattanooga
    -- Dwyer, Jacksonville
    -- Lee, Jacksonville
    -- Mayberry, Danville
    -- Meek, Chattanooga
    -- Osteen, Montgomery
    -- Pepe, Montgomery
    -- Roth, Jacksonville


    Proofs Gallery - T206 Eddie Collins Unique Proof
    Gallery - Mystery CINCINNATI Reds Player on T206 Misprint

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