What are the Toughest T207 Recruit Commons?
Some commons in the T207 set are more difficult to find than you might expect
The T207 set is largely known for its numerous shortprinted Broadleaf and Cycle cards. Few of those cards exist and that makes it quite difficult to complete a set. However, while the Recruit-backed cards are the most common in the set, some of those commons can be hard to find, too.
I’ve been collecting these cards heavily for about 2 1/2 years now. Here’s a look at some of the tougher ones to find based on my own experiences as well as the pop reports.
Note that it’s impossible to merely look at the pop reports and determine rarity. They help a great deal but are not the be all, end all. For example, some commons that have low numbers in pop reports are not as rare as they might seem. Several things could be at play there. A particular common may just be graded less merely by chance. Also, some commons may not have been graded as much if certain cards are found with flaws due to where they appeared on a print sheet, etc., leading people to grade them less.
In other words, while I used the pop reports to help create this list, I didn’t rely solely on them and took other things into consideration, such as how often I have seen specific cards for sale and how many of a certain could be found online via eBay and other sites.
To date, PSA has graded only 24 of these cards. That number caught me off guard as I didn’t have any particular trouble finding it. But a closer look shows me I simply managed to be in the right place at the right time.
PSA’s pop report is indeed a correct depiction of how tough the card is. Since I started looking for it in this article, I’ve found only a single example on eBay.
The Carrigan card also has a backstory as it is sometimes listed as having an error in T207 checklists with a back for Heinie Wagner. Wagner, consequently, also has some of his cards with a Carrigan back. However, cards frequently are found with back errors and those errors may not be any more common than others with wrong backs.
Regardless, the Carrigan T207 is one of the tougher commons with a Recruit back.
I had envisioned writing an article on rare T207 commons for some time and this was always one of the cards I had in mind.
I had an incredibly tough time tracking Ellis down and it is a legitimately tough Recruit common to find. PSA’s pop reports confirm that a bit with only 27 graded to date.
Ellis is one of those cards that seems to come and go. I went quite a while without finding one. But interestingly after I did get one, I saw a few go up for sale at various sources. Right now, only one is on eBay and it’s an extremely high-priced one.
Other commons are tougher than Ellis but given my own experience with it and the infrequent nature it’s available on eBay, I’m convinced this is a tougher one.
When I thought about writing this article a while back, the other card I had in mind was this one.
Like Ellis, Engle haunted me about the same. In a strange twist, I actually found both at the same time but both were equally hard for me to track down.
The PSA pop reports suggest Engle is significantly tougher than Ellis. To date, only 19 have been graded by PSA and, given my own experience with it, I can believe it.
A couple of Engles are currently on eBay but both are obscenely priced and no others have been for sale on the site in a while. I have tracked this one for a while just in case I can find one with a cheap Buy It Now price and haven’t had any luck. It’s just a tough, tough Recruit common.
If you’re working on a set and have a chance to get a low-grade one for about $50, I recommend you take it.
Some of the commons on this list will go under the radar by sellers. But others seem to be known by sellers and Peaches Graham seems to be one of those. Every time I see it, it generally has a higher price tag on it.
PSA has graded only 23 to date.
Graham is not an impossible find, mind you. I’ve seen it far more often than I have Ellis and Engle, for example. But it isn’t one you see everyday.
Asking prices for it are often quite high. But when it goes up for auction, it rarely fetches big money. It does certainly sell for more money than other commons. But it doesn’t usually reach the heights being asked for Buy It Now prices.
Even just aesthetically, I love the card and would probably want it even if I wasn’t collecting the set. The image of Graham eyeing a pitch while choking up on the bat is just a really nice picture and one of the better action shots in the entire set.
This one’s a little tough to figure out.
Trying to determine the true rarity for a guy like Johnny Kling can be difficult. That’s because, in addition to playing baseball, he was a world champion billiards player. Because of that, he is collected by both baseball collectors and collectors of billiards cards.
Tracking down Kling’s card can be very difficult. Only one is currently on eBay and while Kling cards do occasionally surface there, they are somewhat sporadic. So is his card truly rare or is it hoarded by collectors and just not in the public eye as much as you might expect?
My guess is on the former. I say that because of his status in the pop reports.
PSA currently shows only a total of 23 graded, which is low. Even if collectors hoarded Kling cards, you’d think more would wind up being graded. Instead, the card is truly a tougher one.
George Mullin ‘D’ on Cap
Some players in the T207 set have more than one variation of card. Mullin is one of those.
The picture on Mullin’s card is the same on both variations. But on some versions his hat includes the ‘D’ for his Detroit team while others do not have the ‘D.’
The tougher version is by far the version with the ‘D’. PSA’s pop reports do show a difference between the two cards, though it is not as great as I believed it would be before I checked. To date, 24 cards with the ‘D’ have been graded while 32 without it have been graded. Frankly, I expected a greater disparity because I rarely have seen the Mullin cards with the ‘D’ on the cap.
None are currently on eBay and only one was on the site in the past several months.
Interestingly enough, despite the apparent rarity of the cards with the ‘D’ on the cap, there isn’t generally much of a premium paid for them.
Stovall is so infrequently seen that he might as well be a Broadleaf or Cycle.
This was easily one of the hardest Recruit commons to track down and novice T207 collectors might be inclined to think it’s one of the Broadleaf/Cycle shortprints. Who can blame them? PSA has graded only 20 total to date, which is actually fewer than many of those popular shortprints.
The Stovall card is rarely seen on eBay — or anywhere, for that matter. I eventually did find one but it was a higher-grade example than I really needed and I mostly gave in to simply check it off the list, spending more than I wanted to. My hope was to find a lower-grade one to replace it with but about a year later, I’m still looking.
This does appear to be a common that is on the radar of buyers and sellers. Sellers ask a lot for it ad buyers are usually willing to pay more than a standard common price. Stovall is another one that you should buy in low-grade condition if you see it for about $50 or so. Very tough common, in my opinion.
Finally, one more you can add to the tougher Recruit list is Chester Thomas.
Thomas’ card is yet another Red Sox toughie. I’ll have to write a separate article on this but one thing that is undeniable is that a large proportion of Red Sox cards are very tough to find. Add non-commons Tris Speaker and Smoky Joe Wood to that list and you can see that’s a very difficult team for whatever reason.
But back to Thomas. PSA has graded only 22 total graded. He’s another one that I sort of lucked out with because I found mine with relative ease. However, since then, it’s a card I’ve barely seen and, typically you don’t see more than one or two on eBay.
Like some of the others on this list, you can expect to pay at least $40-$50 for the card, even in a lesser grade. If you find one less than that, it’s probably a good deal.