A Trio of Unknowns are Keys to the T207 Set
Three virtually unknown players are the most important cards in the tough set
The T207 set is known for a lot of things. One of those things, ironically, is the collection of players that many collectors have never heard of.
The majority of these players are found with the tougher Broadleaf/Cycle back advertisements and some are downright obscure. But three no-names in particular are generally recognized as the most expensive in the entire set.
The first of note is a chap named Louis Lowdermilk. While that might sound like an alias, I assure you it is not.
Lowdermilk played only two seasons in the majors, compiling a 4-5 record with a 3.38 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals. He likely made the set on the strength of his 1911 season with the Cardinals when he appeared in a total of 16 games as a rookie. But his career would soon be over. The following year, he appeared in only four games, going 1-1 to end his major league career.
His rare T207 card is almost certainly what he is most well-known for among card collectors. Even in very low-grade condition, you do not generally see it sell for much less than $1,500. To date, PSA has graded only about 30 of his cards.
Ward Miller’s career, by contrast, was much more notable. He played eight years in the majors with several teams.
But Miller is hardly a household name, either. During those eight years, he batted .278 and was a pretty modest player.
Despite that mediocrity, Miller’s card is no picnic, either. It, too, is difficult to find and generally starts around $700-$1,000.
Miller’s card is constantly overlooked in comparison with Lowdermilk’s. But in reality, it is possible that his card is even rarer. So far, PSA has graded only 21 in all and it is safe to say that while Miller’s card has gained a reputation for being a very tough card among T207 collectors, he’s generally a bit underrated compared to Lowdermilk. Both are very difficult to find.
Finally, while those two are both rare, the most expensive of them all is certainly the card belonging to Irving Lewis.
If you’ve never heard of Lewis, you certainly are not alone. While the other two had modest major league careers, Lewis never even had that. Even some baseball historians would be hard-pressed to tell you anything about him.
As Keith Olbermann details in this excellent article, Lewis only appeared in limited spring training action and never made the majors. He is the obscurest of the obscure.
But if you think that anonymity has limited his card prices, think again. Like the others mentioned here, Lewis’ card is extremely rare and sells for big bucks, almost always over $1,000 as a starting point.
The funny thing is, Lewis actually has a far more expensive card in the set. That sale was for Lewis’ card where his jersey emblem appears on his sleeve. Lewis’ card without the emblem is even tougher to find. So far, PSA has graded a total of only nine of those.
When you can find that one for sale, it is almost always five figures, starting around $10,000 in low grade.