Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saving a T206: A Card Show Report

There is little sadder than showing up at the end of card show, especially if another, larger card show is in driving distance, taking away a number of key dealers.  However, I only felt like driving 20 minutes yesterday and got a late start as I wanted to watch some Premier League soccer.  So, at 1 PM, I walk into the show and see dealers leaving.  Undeterred, I walk around the room, looking at the unopened boxes, which held little appeal and saw a fair amount of football cards available for sale.  In the back right corner was a dealer, who I had not seen before.  His table was filled with a fair amount of high-grade 50s and 60s Topps cards, which do not interest me at all.  Unless Willie, Mickey or the Duke is one of you idols, I cannot see the appeal of Topps cards from that era.

However, there was a plastic snap box that you could fill with about 50 cards in the middle of the case.  The case, which can hold 50 or so regular sized cards contained a small stack of T206 cards.  As you know, T206 cards are smaller than a standard card and might be worth protecting, especially if the cards have nice corners.  Not sloshing about in a plastic case.

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As you can see, the Heinie Wagner above has three exceptionally nice corners and a dented fourth corner.  The card has no creases and just has a small amount of color loss, but not paper loss on the card.  The back is a Polar Bear back with some tobacco stains, but that is to be expected on a card placed into a pouch of loose tobacco at the time of release.  I have another Heinie Wagner (Bat on Left Shoulder) which I bought at the National, but it is fairly low grade if my memory serves.

I ask for a price and the dealer asks, "Do you know what it books for, I generally don't sell cards this old?" I answer honestly no, because I've never looked at the book.  So, he takes out a Tuff Stuff or something that wasn't a Beckett and looks for a price.  He then asks me what grade do I think the card is?  Really?  He should be able to grade this.  I point out the upper left hand corner and small amount of color loss and decline to grade the card.  The card has strong eye appeal and some sharp corners, but suspect the corner lowers the technical grade to a Fair or a Good.  He then hands me the Tuff Stuff and asks me to find it in the card list.  I take a half hearted look, but know it isn't in there, since Heinie Wagner is a common.  After 12 or so seconds, I say, it is a common and not in the list, though I did disclose that I finished the set.

He thinks about it and I'm thinking, he is going to ask some ridiculous number and I can go about my day.  Of course, as you see the card, he asks for just north of a blaster and after about 4 seconds of reflection take the card.  Since the card was stored in a box, he just handed me the card and sent me on my way, so I spent the rest of the show looking at tables with a T206 in my hand. That being said, I did save the card from being banged around inside the plastic container again, which the poor Snodgrass and Tannehill could not escape. 

Fortunately, when I got to my car, there were a few packs of 2012 Topps WWE Heritage cards and I gently placed the card between two cards and drove home.  Well, drove to Walmart, purchased one of those best of 2012 Topps repack boxes, opened five packs in my car like some kind of monster and drove home, but you catch my drift. 


  1. I'm kinda surprised a legit dealer has no idea when they're holding vintage treasures

  2. ^^^^ this

    another excellent pickup Brian

  3. Great score. I love your line at the end "well, drove to Walmart, purchased one of those best of 2012 Topps repack boxes, opened five packs in my car like some kind of monster and drove home". Great stuff.

  4. I enjoy your posts on the old T206 cards. I am highly interested in maybe starting a collection of cards from this era. If you have any pointers for a rookie, please shoot me an email. Thanks.