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Walter Johnson

1909 Ramly (T204)

This card is as visually stunning as it is rare. The T204 cards, which measure approximately 2" by 2½" in size, were distributed with Ramly and T.T.T. brand Turkish tobacco cigarettes. The black and white portrait of Walter Johnson is surrounded by gold embossed borders, providing a beautiful frame for this antique gem. Since chipping and wear along the edges are so easily seen, beware of examples that have been recolored in order to cover the damage. There are a few rarities in the 121-card set, but this Big Train card is the key. With 12 seasons of 20 or more victories, including two with more than 30, many baseball historians consider Johnson to be the most dominating pitcher of all time. His greatest season on the mound, and perhaps the greatest season by any pitcher, took place in 1913 when Johnson went 36-7 with a 1.14 ERA. During that same campaign, Johnson led the league in strikeouts and posted 11 shutouts. Of all the great Johnson cards on this list, this one is certainly the most challenging.

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

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 NM-MT 8
1 NM-MT 8
2 NM 7
3 EX-MT 6
3 EX-MT 6
3 EX-MT 6
3 EX-MT 6
3 EX-MT 6
3 EX-MT 6
4 EX 5 (5)

Prices By Grade

1909 T204 RAMLY WALTER JOHNSON

Grade Most Recent Price Average Price SMR Price Population POP Higher
GEM - MT 10
MINT 9
NM - MT 8 $132,000.00 $130,000.00 2
NM 7 $80,000.00 1 2
EX - MT 6 $50,400.00 $52,500.00 6 3
EX 5 $29,300.00 $30,000.00 5 9
VG - EX 4 $9,423.60 $15,000.00 3 15
VG 3 $8,800.00 $9,000.00 6 18
GOOD 2 $4,673.00 $5,000.00 2 25
FR 1.5 27
PR 1 $2,900.00 $2,500.00 5 27
Auth 2 32

Auction Prices Realized

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
01/13/2019 $8,800 3 352559797803 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 27549032
12/15/2018 $9,650 3 13 Memory Lane, Inc. Holy Grail Rarities Auction Auction 14621676
10/30/2018 $11,400 3 388 Robert Edward Auctions 2018 Fall Auction 27549032
01/13/2018 $132,000 8 18 Memory Lane, Inc. Historical Rarities Winter Auction Auction 02043799
12/19/2017 $2,900 1 302553595750 eBay laraes Best Offer 07273883
08/09/2017 $29,300 5 352128592593 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 22971671
02/26/2017 $50,400 6 80021 Heritage Auctions Heritage Platinum Night Sports Coll. February 25-26, 2017 Auction 26685222
01/17/2017 $34,800 5 11 Memory Lane, Inc. 2016 Winter Rarities Auction Auction 22971671
08/20/2016 $70,800 6 5 Memory Lane, Inc. 2016 Winder Rarities Auction Auction 18825646
09/18/2015 $9,424 4 17 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LXI Auction 04443354
12/04/2014 $8,494 4 27 Mile High Card Company December 2014 Auction 04443354
10/15/2014 $19,200 5 170 Robert Edward Auctions 2014 Fall Auction 90586922
08/24/2014 $8,747 4 188 Memory Lane, Inc. 2014 Summer Rarities Auction Auction 90539939
11/09/2013 $5,975 2.5 80049 Heritage Auctions 2013 November 7 - 9 Sports Collectible Catalog A... Nov 9, 2013 Auction 20938157
10/11/2013 $29,718 6 3 Mile High Card Company October 2013 Auction 18825646
08/13/2013 $2,448 1 135 SCP Auctions Mid-Summer Classic Auction 2013 Auction 21465203
04/13/2013 $8,897 2.5 330 SCP Auctions Spring Premier Auction 2013 Auction 20938157
05/06/2012 $20,541 5 7 Memory Lane, Inc. HOLY GRAIL AUCTION SPRING 2012 Auction 90586922
08/04/2011 $29,875 6 80041 Heritage Auctions 2011 August Chicago Signature Vintage Sports Col... Aug 4, 2011 Auction 18825646
11/10/2010 $4,673 2 739 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions November 2010 Internet Auction Auction 30187593
11/05/2010 $10,158 4 80078 Heritage Auctions 2010 November Dallas Signature Sports Collectibl... Nov 5, 2010 Auction 04443354
12/13/2009 $6,096 3 27 Memory Lane, Inc. Hidden Treasures Vintage Rarities Auction Auction 50020460
05/09/2009 $6,976 3 12 Goodwin and Co. Auctions Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXI Auction 50020460
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