View Full Version : T206 prices in 1973, plus hobby profiles (Lionel Carter, etc.)

01-28-2016, 09:43 PM
As a break from all the hoopla about the Mastro shill list, I thought I would post some more old-time hobby articles. These are from issues 91 and 93 of The Ballcard Collector in January and February 1973. The first article below (from issue 93) is by longtime hobby writer Wirt Gammon, who collected T206s as a child when they first came out, and who had been a sportswriter for 40 years when he wrote this. Gammon is complaining about the rising prices of T205s and T206s -- he says he had never paid or charged more than 45 or 50 cents for them, but recently somebody offered some to him for 70 cents apiece, saying that they had seen dealers charging $1 apiece. Gammon grumblingly got the guy's price down to 60 cents a card, huffing that "I can't imagine paying $1 for a T205 and T206, except of course the rare ones." Oh, Wirt. We can now see in hindsight that prices of vintage cards were about to rise sharply, and in fact Gammon's experience, as he acknowledges, is a real-time example of how that happens. A couple of weeks ago I posted several articles about inflation in the hobby, including surveys showing average card prices from 1966 to 1976. The average price of a T206 common was 43 cents in June 1972, 50 cents in December 1972, and 54 cents in June 1973, right in line with Gammon's estimate in February 1973. (T205s were a little more, going from 49 cents in June 1972 to 66 cents in December 1972 and 75 cents in June 1973.) Jim Beckett's first price survey in 1977 had T206s at 82 cents for major leaguers, $1.10 for minor leaguers, and $4.00 for Southern Leaguers, and Beckett's 1978 survey had them at 90 cents, $1.19, and $4.25 respectively. I don't have easy access to my annual Beckett guides at the moment, but I think that by 1981, VG-EX T206 common major leaguers were going for about $3-$4, and of course they continued to go up from there.

The second article below (from issue 91) is another one by Dick Reuss, giving his opinions of various people in the hobby. He mostly has nothing but good things to say about most of them, including Lionel Carter, who seems to have been universally loved and respected in the hobby. What's amusing to me is Reuss's sketch of Charles Brooks, longtime publisher of The Sport Hobbyist (and initially also The Sport Card Journal, which published Lionel Carter's 1956 article on T205s that I posted last night). Reuss starts out warmly praising Brooks before quickly segueing to some very blunt criticism of the deceptive wording in his ads and his slow service for people who buy things from him. I guess some things don't change in 43 years.


01-28-2016, 09:51 PM
very cool to see! As a kid growing up in northern nj...i bough a t205 criger(I wanted a yankee) at a store in garden state plaza for $2...its vg-ex.

And my firs t206 was a beater white cap matty i got for $2 at a show...I still have both.

01-29-2016, 09:03 AM
Thanks a lot for sharing these - this is a great part of history of the hobby IMO and I have enjoyed them.

01-29-2016, 11:35 AM
Fun reading

01-29-2016, 12:14 PM
I was only born in 1973, but as a teen in the late 80s a man would send me three or 4 T206's to choose from, send him the cash for the one's I liked and return the others. Maybe 5-6 bucks a card. I love the honor system!