The 17 Pound Tobacco Card Collection

Featuring Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Much More
  • May 10, 2019

170Pound CollectionWhat's in the collection? 

That's what I asked when a collection arrived via our FedEx Shipping program from a collector in Colorado.  The answer surprised me.  Seventeen pounds of tobacco cards.  I did a double-take and asked again, almost rhetorically, "What's in the collection?"


17 Pounds of Cards

While the collection wasn't entirely tobacco cards, it was 17 pounds and it was mostly tobacco cards and the small amount that wasn't tobacco was mostly pre-war material aside from a small stack of about 100 or so baseball cards from 1948-1988 and a baggie filled with 1962 Salada-Junket baseball and football coins.

Boxes of 17 Pound CollectionThe collection was divided into 4 boxes -- two 2-row shoeboxes and two real shoeboxes.  Aside from the T206 and T205 cards that were stored in top loaders, CardSavers and penny sleeves, the balance was separated by issue and stored in clear plastic sandwich bags.

Sorting through the collection, many of the baggies included index cards listing the quantity and the issue.  This helped out during the evaluation process as several of the releases were a bit more obscure and would have taken a little longer to research and identify.

A few of the baggies contained a random assortment of issues.  Inside some of these smorgasbord were found some interesting gems.


Piles of T206 Cards

The collection boasted more than 150 T206 cards that were mostly in POOR to GOOD condition.  While the condition of the T206 cards may have been a little weak, the collection included handfuls of Hall of Famers including:

  • Charles "Chief" Bender
  • Roger Bresnahan
  • Mordecai Brown
  • Frank Chance
  • Jack Chesbro
  • Ty Cobb
  • Eddie Collins
  • Sam Crawford
  • Hugh Duffy
  • Elmer Flick
  • Miller Huggins
  • Willie Keeler
  • Rube Marquard
  • John McGraw
  • Tris Speaker
  • Joe Tinker
  • Rube Waddell
  • Cy Young


With such a long list of Hall of Famers, it is easy to identify that the group was highlighted by Ty Cobb (Green Portrait and Bat on Shoulder variations - both were noted as possibly trimmed).  


1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb Gren background 1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb Bat on Shoulder


All-Time Wins leader Cy Young was also represented by two versions of his T206 cards (Portrait and Bare hand Showing variations).

1909-11 T206 Cy Young Portrait 1909-11 T206 Cy Young Bare Hand Shows



Boxing, Too

There was another stack of T205 Gold Border baseball cards and a few hundred T218 and T220 Champions and Boxing cards.  While many of the names seem anonymous to most, there were a few boxing cards whose name will ring a bell.  Jack Dempsey, Jack Sullivan, Joe Jackson and Jim Jeffries provided plenty of value.

1910 T218 jack Johnson


Don't Discount Strips Cards

Strip cards can often be a great source of excitement and challenges in determining the issue.  This collection had a nice share of both.  Buried within piles of actors and actresses were a few exciting gems. There were two Babe Ruth strip cards.  One, from the 1920 W519-2 Unnumbered release features a reasonably accurate image of Ruth in a Yankees cap against a blue background.  The other, a 1923 W515-1 #3, features a cartoonish image of the Yankees outfielder.  Many of the strip card from the era were poor depictions of the players -- many that would be difficult to identify if the names were not printed on the card -- and even then, many bear no resemblance to the athlete.


12920 w519-2 Unnumbered Babe Ruth 1923 W515-1 #3 Babe Ruth

Also, found in the mass of cardboard and paper was this 1920 W516-1 # 6 Ty Cobb strip card.  This release also has another version with the images inverted (featuring Cobb as a left-handed thrower).

Ty Cobb



There was a small assortment of 1927 W560 cards featuring actors, actresses, boxes and a few baseball players, but the highlight was a Bobby Jones card.

1927 W560 Bobby Jones


Cards, Cards, Cards

Below are just a few of the other sports and non-sports issues that were found and represented in the collection.

  • 1909-11 T206 White Borders
  • 1909 T29 Animals
  • 1909 T53 Cowboys Series
  • 1909 T272 Hudson-Fulton
  • 1910 T37 Automobile Series
  • 1910 T51 University Series
  • 1910 T107 US/Coat of Arms
  • 1911 T59 Flags of All Nations
  • 1911 T68 Heroes and Men of History
  • 1911 T205 Gold Borders
  • 1920 W516-1
  • 1920 W519-2
  • 1921 W551
  • 1923 W515-1
  • 1923 W572
  • 1926 W512
  • 1927 W560 ( w/ Bobby Jones)
  • 1931 Dick Tracy
  • 1932 U.S. Caramel Presidents
  • 1933 Indian Gum and Sky Birds
  • 1933 R152 Tootsie Circus
  • 1933 Sport Kings
  • 1935 Diamond Stars
  • 1935 Goudey 4 in 1
  • 1935 Little Orphan Annie
  • 1935 Mickey Mouse Type I & II
  • 1936 G-Men & Heroes of the Law
  • 1937 Wild West Series
  • 1940's Series of 48 (Western, Indians, etc.)
  • 1948-1988 Baseball (Topps, Bowman, etc.)
  • 1962 Salada-Junket Baseball and Football Coins



We always enjoy searching through non-sport cards and this collection afforded us plenty to thumb through.  Unlike many companies, Just Collect is an active buyer and seller of non-sport cards and this collection offered some interesting selections that will be offered in the near future.  Here are a few samples including Mickey Mouse and G-Men & Heroes of the Law:

1935 Mickey Mouse 1936 G-Men & Heroes of the Law


Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year, it will be at the Stephens Convention Center in the Rosemont section of Chicago, IL and it has also been in Cleveland, Atlantic City and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!


Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.


Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.


We Are Always Buying

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.


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