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Ty Cobb (Portrait-Red)

1909-1911 T206 White Border Ty Cobb Back

While the extreme rarity of this card provides a major challenge for most T206 set collectors, it remains one of Ty Cobb’s most desirable issues. Cobb, already featured on four different T206 cards mentioned earlier on this list, appears a fifth time. At first glance, this card appears to be a mere variation of the Red Portrait Cobb, looking virtually identical on the front. The reverse, instead of containing one of the tobacco brands associated with the issue, is labeled “TY COBB, KING OF THE SMOKING TOBACCO WORLD” in green ink. The face of the card, while identical in image, was given a slightly glossier coating to protect the card from staining since it was originally distributed with tobacco products. Until February of 2016, there were about 15 known examples of this great rarity. A remarkable discovery of seven previously-unknown examples occurred at that time. The find was dubbed “The Lucky 7 Find” – which has been documented on the PSA label of each card. Even with the 2016 discovery included, this card remains clearly tougher to find than three other notable rarities in the set, including the famed T206 Honus Wagner.

Tyrus Raymond “Ty” Cobb

Born: December 18, 1886 - Narrows, GA
Died: July 17, 1961 - Atlanta, GA
Batted: LH
Threw: RH
Position: OF
Career BA: .367
Managerial Record: 479–444

Detroit Tigers AL (1905–1920; player-manager: 1921–1926)
Philadelphia Athletics AL (1927–1928)

Probably the most gifted athlete of the early twentieth century, Ty Cobb was an incredible hitter, the best base stealer of his era, and superb defensively. He was the dominant player in the American League during the Deadball Era, but his aggressive, competitive style of play led to controversy throughout his career.

The superstar of his day, Cobb was not well-liked by players, even those on his team. His reckless base running intimidated the competition, giving him the edge, but it certainly didn’t earn many friendships. Ty Cobb became the highest paid player in baseball during the second half of his playing career. As a businessman he was a genius, amassing a fortune with investments in companies such as Coca Cola and General Motors, but as a player he continued to be surrounded by controversy. Cobb became player-manager of the Tigers in 1921, continuing on in that role for six seasons. Although not pennant contenders, the team did fairly well under his leadership. He retired in 1926 due to allegations of a game fix in 1919...allegations made by a player who had a grudge against Cobb. After he was cleared of any wrong doing, Connie Mack recruited him for the A’s where he finished out his career.

Considered mean spirited and racist, Cobb was actually quietly philanthropic later in life, helping out many indigent ballplayers. Whatever the assessment is of Cobb, it is our consensus that, as a player, he belongs at the top of our list as the Best of the Best. “The Georgia Peach” won an incredible 11 batting titles, batted under .320 only once in his career, and still holds the record for highest career batting average. With 4,191 hits, along with 892 stolen bases, Cobb stands near or at the top of the all-time list. One of the first to be elected to the Hall of Fame, he is the overwhelming choice for our Cracker Jack All-Star Team. 

– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 VG-EX+ 4.5
2 VG+ 3.5
3 VG 3
4 GOOD+ 2.5
4 GOOD+ 2.5
4 GOOD+ 2.5
4 GOOD+ 2.5
5 GOOD 2 (4)

Prices By Grade


Grade Most Recent Price Average Price PSA Price Population POP Higher
GEM - MT 10
NM - MT 8
NM 7
EX - MT 6
EX 5
VG - EX 4 1
VG 3 $350,000.00 1 2
GOOD 2 $204,000.00 $200,000.00 4 7
FR 1.5 $138,000.00 $135,000.00 3 11
PR 1 $86,143.00 $115,000.00 4 14
Auth 1 18

Auction Prices Realized

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
10/21/2022 $510 2.5 314188522310 eBay littleward00 Auction 25470305
08/24/2021 $372,000 2.5 80132 Heritage Auctions Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction Auction 25470305
12/06/2020 $204,000 2 2 Robert Edward Auctions 2020 Fall Auction 16651880
09/02/2020 $894,250 4.5 3 Mile High Card Company August/September 2020 Auction Auction 25470307
04/13/2020 $86,143 1 1 Love of the Game Auctions Spring 2020 Premier Auction - Closes April 11 Auction 29008173
12/09/2019 $138,000 1.5 1 Robert Edward Auctions 2019 Fall Auction 25470301
09/23/2019 $156,000 2 50003 Heritage Auctions 2019 September 19 The David Hall T206 Collection P Auction 16651880
03/02/2019 $148,528 1 190 Goldin Auctions 2019 Winter Auction Closing March 2 Auction 27956863
10/30/2018 $108,000 1 1 Robert Edward Auctions 2018 Fall Auction 29008173
02/25/2018 $408,000 3.5 80006 Heritage Auctions 2018 February 24 - 25 Platinum Night Sports Auction 25470306
08/12/2017 $228,000 2.5 1 Memory Lane, Inc. Sizzling Summer Auction 2017 Auction 25470302
02/26/2017 $240,000 2.5 80025 Heritage Auctions Heritage Platinum Night Sports Coll. February 25-2 Auction 25470302
04/14/2014 $154,050 1 8 Robert Edward Auctions 2014 Spring Auction 21508054
07/20/2013 $117,498 1 3 Goldin Auctions JULY 19TH AUCTION Auction 19343536
10/02/2009 $77,675 1.5 81085 Heritage Auctions 2009 October Signature Sports Memorabilia Auctio.. Auction 14717762
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