T206 Cards, Small and Large, Among Recent Altered Issues

Cards from the most popular baseball card set of all time are suspected of altering

I’m paying less attention to the altered cards scandal still being uncovered on Blowout but it’s hard to ignore it completely. While many of the recent cards being discovered are post-war vintage, plenty of pre-war stuff continues to be found.

And among those cards, many of them are from the T206 set. An inordinately high number, actually.

The T206 set is certainly the most collected pre-war issue. Even beyond that, it’s the most popular baseball card set of all time. And with such a large population of them compared to other pre-war issues, it comes as little surprise that many of them are suspected of having been altered.

T206 Portrait Cy YoungT206 Cobb GreenSeveral of the cards have been of the lower end variety with bumps not all that significant. Even in cases where grades have significantly been upgraded, that sometimes has resulted in a smaller payoff (such as was the case of this Howie Camnitz or this card of Hall of Famer Addie Joss). But others have been more valuable.

The green background Ty Cobb card has been on fire and at least one looks to have been found to be altered. After some apparent upgrades, a PSA 2 was allegedly bumped to a PSA 3.5, increasing its value dramatically, selling for nearly $5,000 and more than twice as much as the previous card did only a few months earlier. In fact, a few Cobb green background cards are in that thread and this bat off version of Cobb actually topped the $5,000 mark.

Other big cards T206 cards have been hit, too.

A copy of the rare Ray Demmitt St. Louis version was allegedly bumped from a PSA 3 to a PSA 4, resulting in another nearly $5,000 sale and, just as importantly, a gain of more than $2,200 from the previous sale of the then lower-graded card. And a Carl Lundgren EPDG was a big gainer with a PSA 6 getting a nearly $4,000 bump from the allegedly same card in lesser condition.

Others, such as Hall of Famers Nap Lajoie, Cy Young, and Hughie Jennings, were also cited.

And some of the biggest gains were actually seen in common cards. A Bunk Congalton card might seem to be an unlikely target for this sort of thing. But when you can turn a mid-grade card to a high-grade one, the value difference can be staggering. This Congalton was allegedly a PSA 5, which made it, roughly, a $100 card. But that same card reportedly bumped to a PSA 8 sold for more than $3,000.

The news for T206 collectors is, of course, not all that great. More than two dozen T206 cards have been called out as altered ones in the Blowout thread, including several in the last few days. That’s easily the most out of any pre-war set.

And, unfortunately, you can bet that many more are out there, too.

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