If a once-in-a-lifetime crisis isn’t enough to evoke nostalgic desire for the past from your weary soul, what possibly could? Collecting has always been an emotional refuge, whether it comes in the form of a voyage back to a simpler time, or in the soothing rhythms of bringing order to chaos. We feel so fortunate, here at Heritage Auctions, to have found our livelihoods within this special field, never more so than we do in days like these. We’re also pleased to report that we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have thus far been spared any infections within our staff. We hope the same can be said of you, and your friends and family. And to those now battling the virus, we wish you continued strength and a speedy recovery.
By now, most Heritage regulars are well aware of Collector’s Universe founder and original CEO David Hall, and his peerless collection of the hobby’s most celebrated tobacco trading card issue. It’s an assembly constructed over the course of decades, and we calculate that we’re somewhere near the midpoint of its sale here at Heritage Auctions. With just short of 1,500 lots hammered, we have recently surpassed the $5.5 million mark, as convincing a data point as any to demonstrate the enduring popularity of the fabled T206 issue.
The David Hall T206 Collection likewise provides some very encouraging evidence of the Ripken-esque durability of our hobby, as our recent fifth installment (closing April 16th) saw results exhibiting no decline in participation or prices realized from the four preceding the global health crisis. In fact, with stocks and oil values plummeting, we’ve seen a rush to the safety of vintage trading cards and sports collectibles. We’ll gladly stack our graphs up beside any “traditional” investment metrics. And that’s true if you want to compare the last ten weeks or the last ten years.
The 209 lots comprising the fourth edition of Heritage Auctions’ presentation of The David Hall Collection drew just short of one million dollars ($987,000) in winning bids, and with the bidding battles behind us, we thought we’d take a few moments to celebrate some of its highlights.
The first man enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame once again took top honors, the finest-known example of the Ty Cobb Bat On Shoulder variant with an Old Mill back commanding $78,000. April 21st marks the 116th anniversary of Mr. Cobb’s professional debut, for the Augusta (GA) Tourists of the Southern Atlantic League.
A pair of Hall of Fame pitchers join the Georgia Peach on the medal stand, with second place earned by a $39,600 result for the superior example of two known Rube Marquard (Follow Through) representations bearing a Uzit advertising back. A hundred years ago, Marquard was a thirty-three year old veteran leading the Brooklyn Robins (later the Dodgers) to the National League pennant.
Mordecai Brown, whose mangled pitching hand helped lead the Chicago Cubs to World Championship glory in 1907 and 1908, entered the T206 era believing he’d get at least another ring for the third and final finger (if rings had been the prize in those days), but he’d retire a century before joy would return to the North Side. The only graded example of the Mordecai Brown “Chicago on Shirt” variant with Broad Leaf advertising found a new owner at $38,400.
Stay safe out there, and stay strong. Our May auction is now open for bidding, and we’d love to see you there. Browse the 2020 May 7 – 9 Spring Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction #50026.