Ty Cobb Autographed T206 Card Fetches $144K at Heritage Auction
The autographed T206 green background is the only known example
Heritage’s most recent auction included several knockout cards. But the one that caught my attention the most was an autographed Ty Cobb T206 card.
The card includes a spectacular signature of Cobb and is said to be the only known copy. I knew it would fetch an incredible amount and it did — a staggering $144,000. While I knew the figure would be high, that was even higher than I anticipated.
The card presents quite well with a clean, bold fountain pen signature over a card with minimal damage to the front. At least minimal in terms of it holding a tremendous amount of eye appeal. It’s just a beautiful specimen.
Since the actual card is relatively easy to find unsigned, we have a great idea of what the autograph added to it. With significant back damage (which this one has), the card would typically receive an Authentic grade. Authentic grade Cobbs like this without the signature would fetch somewhere in the ballpark of $1,500-$2,000, give or take. The autograph added to it made it worth almost 100 times that. The signature was authenticated by PSA/DNA.
Most Cobb signatures, of course, won’t sell for anything near that amount. Heritage, for example, sold a single signed Cobb baseball last year for a little over $14,000. So what makes the card so special that it would command so much?
Well, there’s the fact that it’s a T206 card and it’s one of the most popular cards in the most popular set of all time. But the more substantial thing here is that it’s the only known autographed copy of this card. While Cobb signed his name to many baseballs, signed T206 cards are much, much rarer.
The other note here, of course, is that the sale comes in the wake of a major autographed T206 scandal that broke only a little more than a year ago. That scandal uncovered numerous T206 and pre-war autographs that were proven to be not authentic. The sale of this card continues to prove that the autograph market for pre-war cards remains strong despite authenticity concerns of old cards.