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Walter Johnson (Hands At Chest)

1909-1911 T206 White Border

This is, perhaps, the most popular issue to feature The Big Train. During the early part of the 20th Century, Walter Johnson’s dominance was staggering. With 417 total victories and a career ERA of 2.17, his numbers are remarkable. Johnson was the first of five men to be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936 along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner. Wow! What a select group. While the Johnson Portrait is certainly more popular, the Hands at Chest variation is considered to be more difficult. This is due, in large part, to The Southern Find, which accounts for most of the high-grade Johnson Portraits that exist today.

Walter Perry Johnson

Born: November 6, 1887 - Humboldt, KS
Died: December 10, 1946 - Washington, D.C.
Batted: RH
Threw: RH
Position: P
MLB Pitching Record: 417–279
ERA: 2.17
Managerial Record: 529–432

Teams:
Washington Senators AL (1907–1927; manager: 1929–1932)
Cleveland Indians AL (manager: 1933–1935)

When it comes to the best of the best, look no further than “The Big Train.” In our opinion, Walter Johnson is the greatest pitcher that ever lived. The all-time leader in shutouts with 110, Johnson compiled 417 career wins as well as 3,509 career strikeouts. It’s hard to find a better pitcher. Although Cy Young had more wins, Johnson was more dominant. Johnson’s fastball was overpowering to begin with, and his sidearm motion made it even tougher for batters to pick up the ball.

Nicknamed “The Big Train” because of the amazing speed of his fastball, Johnson won at least 20 games 12 times. Today his single-season 1.14 earned-run average is the sixth lowest ever. Named American League MVP in 1913 and 1924, Johnson won the Triple Crown in 1913, 1918, and 1924. He led the league in strikeouts 12 times, shutouts 7 times, wins 6 times, ERA 5 times, and the list goes on and on. Interestingly enough, Johnson pitched on quite a few losing teams. Finally, in 1924 the Senators won the World Championship due, in large part, to Johnson’s pitching prowess.

One of the truly nice guys in the game, Walter Johnson was respected among his peers and admired by fans. During the rough and tumble early days of baseball, he stood out because of his modesty and dignity. Ty Cobb referred to Johnson as “the greatest of the great.” After his playing days were over, Johnson managed both Washington and Cleveland for several years. He went back to the Senators as broadcaster in 1939 and later made an unsuccessful run for Congress. Johnson always stayed close to the game he loved, even pitching in war bond exhibition games during World War II. He was recognized as part of the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame in 1936. After suffering from a brain tumor for several months, Walter Johnson died in 1946 at age 59. “The Big Train” gets our vote as the Best of the Best. 

– 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

Click link to see a complete population breakdown by tobacco brand/back.

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
2 NM-MT 8 (14)

Prices By Grade

1909-11 T206 UNKNOWN BACK WALTER JOHNSON HANDS AT CHEST

Grade Most Recent Price Average Price SMR Price Population POP Higher
GEM - MT 10
MINT 9 $95,000.00 1
NM - MT 8 $17,500.00 4 1
NM 7 $6,000.00 9 5
EX - MT 6 $3,600.00 $3,600.00 $3,300.00 28 14
EX 5 $3,550.00 $3,550.00 $1,750.00 52 42
VG - EX 4 $2,247.22 $2,247.22 $900.00 58 95
VG 3 $1,425.00 $1,425.00 $550.00 53 156
GOOD 2 $1,699.00 $1,699.00 $300.00 47 210
FR 1.5 259
PR 1 $350.00 $350.00 $150.00 31 259
Auth 2 290

Auction Prices Realized

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
09/16/2020 $2,247 4 353192415943 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 11143994
07/15/2020 $3,550 5 353129391025 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 90617587
09/01/2019 $1,699 2 383117197460 eBay gregmorriscards Auction 11839122
06/04/2019 $2,339 5 372679472644 eBay probstein123 Auction 90301610
04/20/2019 $3,600 6 51142 Heritage Auctions 2019 April 18 - 19 Spring Sports Card Catalog Auction Auction 90009267
06/14/2018 $750 2 123181707856 eBay jlscards Best Offer 11073805
06/11/2018 $1,425 3 142817832560 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 90289276
06/04/2018 $3,900 6 392051851355 eBay sportsgraffs Auction 50061723
05/24/2018 $2,005 5 332406528129 eBay dacardworld Best Offer 90383449
05/06/2018 $510 2 192520808096 eBay marcybug2 Auction 11073805
01/21/2018 $350 1 142662187259 eBay deserticesportscom Best Offer 30119027
12/27/2017 $1,137 4 372170667729 eBay mlbfan07 Auction 31061872
12/10/2017 $1,281 4 142608296030 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 05082474
11/11/2017 $1,043 4 109 Goldin Auctions 2017 October Legends Closing November 11 Auction 31061872
11/11/2017 $921 4 121 Goldin Auctions 2017 October Legends Closing November 11 Auction 31061855
10/08/2017 $3,850 6 352174671750 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 12448672
10/08/2017 $2,381 5 401413397455 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 90301610
08/09/2017 $717 3 352128597002 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 90096045
07/18/2017 $590 2 171310442677 eBay bobcourtneyauctions Best Offer 11541564
07/05/2017 $1,200 4 332281494141 eBay sh13nr34 Best Offer 05082474
03/12/2017 $3,651 6 401284752075 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 12448672
01/29/2017 $980 4 63 Goldin Auctions Winter Auction 2017 Ending January 29 Auction 11989275
11/19/2016 $1,434 5 50141 Heritage Auctions 2016 November 17 - 19 Sports Collectibles Catalo... Nov 19, 2016 Auction 31465256
11/08/2016 $750 4 201706227587 eBay vibajajo Auction 11966865
10/30/2016 $566 3 262688431401 eBay kraisner312 Auction 05012574
10/23/2016 $628 3 262680215763 eBay kraisner312 Auction 05012574
01/30/2016 $330 2 464 Love of the Game Auctions Winter, 2016 Premier Auction - Closes January 30, 2016 Auction 40271274
04/15/2015 $2,040 6 263 Robert Edward Auctions 2015 Spring Auction 04071060
12/13/2013 $1,669 5 170 SCP Auctions Fall Premier Auction 2013 Auction 50047564
05/12/2012 $1,837 5 875 SCP Auctions MAY 2012 PREMIER INTERNET AUCTION Auction 50047564
05/31/2009 $1,076 5 45001 Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Sports Auction May 31, 2009 Auction 08136375
07/08/2008 $611 4 (MK) 66 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions July 2008 Internet Auction Auction 30867016
01/01/2008 $1,763 5 253 Robert Edward Auctions 2008 Auction Auction 11772325
08/07/2007 $1,242 5 141 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions September 2007 Internet Auction Auction 50026599
05/05/2007 $1,793 6 19780 Heritage Auctions 2007 May Sports Collectibles Signature Auction May 5, 2007 Auction 09109011
01/28/2007 $538 3 12053 Heritage Auctions Monthly Internet Sports Auction Jan 28, 2007 Auction 06110899
03/26/2006 $1,076 5 12092 Heritage Auctions Amazing Sports Auction Mar 26, 2006 Auction 31465256
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