The T-206 Tris Speaker is one of the most desirable cards from this legendary player's career. In addition, the T-206 set is considered one of the most desired baseball card sets in the hobby because of the wonderful artwork and vast array of Hall of Famers. When you add these two factors together, the demand for this particular card is obviously very strong. Unfortunately, because of the demand for this card, it is the target of "doctoring" by some unscrupulous individuals. An interesting case, which involved this popular card, was brought to PSA recently.
There were a lot of questionable characteristics to this particular card. First, the card exhibited the dot matrix print commonly associated with photo color processing and it turned out to be photocopied. Second, the card was re-colored on the front. Third, the card was toned with the use of brown sugar. That's right, brown sugar. It smelled like a cookie. Could this be the work of or Julia Childs or the Frugal Gourmet? Finally, the card actually weighed approximately 18% more than authentic examples of this card.
There you have it. Someone went to a lot of trouble to doctor this one but, when you have a card that is valuable or in great demand, that is the unfortunate result. This card was actually submitted in a batch of other legitimate T-206s so the person who submitted the card was probably trying to sneak it by the grading process. Sorry, Tris: you may smell delicious, but you can't make the grade.
It is important to keep in mind that, although there were many ways that this card was doctored, none of them were apparent or obvious. It is very important that collectors are careful in examining vintage issues such as the T-206 Tris Speaker. Most doctoring appears on the vintage issues because of the rarity and value of high-grade examples. If demand outweighs supply in the hobby, that usually results in counterfeit production.
Remember that if you have a concern about the authenticity of a particular card or simply want more information about the grading process, please write to us at the address listed below. Mike Baker can be reached via postal mail by addressing your questions to:
C/O Mike Baker
PO Box 6180
Newport Beach, CA 92658