Reprinted with permission. Read and enjoy.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Bonus For Honus
By: Leon Castner and Brian Kathenes
Baseball cards. You can collect ’em… You can swap ’em… And you can sell’em for BIG bucks — if you know what to look for.
The “mother” of all baseball cards is the Honus Wagner T-206 tobacco card. One was sold
on eBay recently for $1.1 million! Tobacco card? That’s right tobacco!
The first baseball cards didn’t come with chewing gum for the kiddies, folks. They were
used to promote tobacco products to the big boys.
In the late 1800’s, “trade cards” were used by merchants and salesmen to advertise their
wares and their store addresses. The cards were attractive and eye-catching…not to mention free…so they immediately became collectibles.
And speaking of phenomenon, let’s get back to our man behind the plate… John Peter
“Honus” Wagner — known as “The Flying Dutchman” — is considered one of the greatest
shortstops in history. He was one of the first five players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Honus is a baseball great, but it’s not his maneuvering between the bags that make the Wagner T206 tobacco card the Mona Lisa of baseball cards. It’s their rarity.
Why so rare??
It seems Honus objected to the use of his name to promote smoking, without being properly compensated. He demanded that the manufacturer — the American Tobacco Company — stop production.
They’re as rare as a triple play! Only 50 or 60 Honus Wagner cards were ever distributed.
Peck and Snyder
You’ve heard of Sears and Roebuck, Abraham and Strauss, Brian and Leon…but do you
know Peck and Snyder? P&S manufactured baseball equipment after the Civil War and advertised their products with trade cards featuring prominent baseball players of the day. P&S’s cards were different from today’s trading cards that carry no advertising, just pix and stats.
This article is an excerpt from the new book: Betcha Didn’t Know That! 101 Antiques and
Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous, and the Hit of the Party, Volume 1.
It is reprinted here with the permission of the authors Leon Castner and Brian Kathenes.
Leon and Brian are the hosts of “Value This! With Brian And Leon,” a weekly radio antiques and collectibles call-in show. Learn more about antiques and collectibles and get a free report:
“How To Be Your Own Appraiser” at: www.BestAntiqueTips.com.