(90% of the Set) w/a Superb 3.95 Cumulative GPA, Qualifiers Not withstanding!
For some 40 years, Jim Otto Haas meticulously assembled an extremely formidable T206 gathering. One of the hobby's most passionate collectors, Jim also collected high-end cards of other baseball immortals, especially including Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. While Jim's magnificent family including his lovely wife Sandy, four children (T.J., Michael, Jamie & Ashleigh) and ten grandchildren were dearest to him, his unquenchable passion for collecting baseball cards always gave him an additional incentive for living life to the fullest.
Unfortunately, our good friend Jim Haas recently passed away, leaving behind a remarkable legacy to both his ultra-proud family and the hobby itself. To reiterate, while he collected various sports related keepsakes, Jim's "white whale" was his near T206 set that he painstakingly assembled over four decades.
This labor of love included a relentless quest to put together a VG-EX compilation, and while he never was able to complete the entire set, he did manage to assemble 470 cards or 90% of the possible 524 subjects. In speaking with Sandy, she was beaming when reminiscing about the myriad of times Jim would sit his children on his lap in his treasured office (and later on in life his grandchildren as well), proudly showing off his prized T206 cards that meant so much to him.
For most zealous enthusiasts, we can clearly understand the sheer joy Jim was experiencing for what could be better than having both your children/grandchildren and century-old tobacco cards simultaneously in your grasp! With that said, it is with distinct pleasure that Memory Lane is now offering this Jim Haas "T206 masterpiece", and we feel significantly honored to have been chosen by his wonderful family to auction one of Jim's most hallowed possessions.
Obviously, the renowned T206 "Monster" Set needs no introduction, and it continues to reside as the foremost baseball card compilation in our illustrious hobby. Synonymous with an uncontrollable brush fire, its highly celebrated stature continues to spread to a seemingly infinite number of passionate collectors who yearn to assemble an entire set. When the American Tobacco Company (ATC) released their iconic tobacco issue in 1909, little did anyone realize over a century later, the 524 possible subjects would ultimately reside as an "industry leader", with its unparalleled popularity captivating an entire collecting community. Not even prestigious issues such as the 19th Century Old Judges, 1933 Goudeys or 1952 Topps can remotely compare to the pinnacle distinction associated with the ATC's "Monster Set" that includes a myriad of player variations and tobacco ad back combinations that continue to drive this insatiable market.
Virtually all of our National Pastime's greatest early 20th century stars are represented including Cobb, Mathewson, Speaker, Johnson, Lajoie, Collins, Young, Johnson, and so many more that this star laden gathering reads like a "who's who" to baseball's "turn of the century" Cooperstown inductees. Also contributing to the T206 craze are the incredible array of sparkling/bright colored hues utilized by the various factories to promote their cigarette products. It is almost mind boggling to think that many of the surviving subjects have managed to defy "father time", with their aesthetically brilliant images having passed through a century of time.
One of the hobby's daunting tasks is to accumulate 520 of the aforementioned 524 total subjects, forgoing the Wagner, Plank, Magee error and Doyle variation due to their astronomical price tags. Needless to say, most typical household budgets are unable to stretch the boundaries of seizing any of these aforementioned four cardboard icons, so collectors are more than satisfied with assembling a 520-card set. With that in mind, presented here is Jim's superb "Near T206 Set" including 470 or 90% PSA Graded subjects that total to a stellar 3.95 Cumulative GPA! This immense 470 card lot suffices as a virtually perfect beginning towards eventually achieving the ultimate T206 collector's goal of assembling all 520 subjects (less the "Big Four).
More impressively, every card has been encapsulated by PSA, with nearly all of the hobby's previously offered T206 "near sets" comprised of either a mix of raw and graded subjects or simply a combination of SGC and PSA graded copies (set is included on the PSA Registry and titled "CHATHAM CHAMPS"). What this outstanding offering accomplishes is provide the sophisticated tobacco enthusiast with a "clean" gathering under a single grading service umbrella, eliminating the painstaking chore of having to "crossover" a significant number of subjects to either grading service. Equally impressive is that many of the subjects include fine centering as well as super eye pleasing central images/hues, and it is clearly obvious that Mr. Haas meticulously "cherry picked" a vast majority of his T206 cards based on exceptional eye appeal "for the grade" attributes.
This colossal lot offers 66 Cooperstown inductees (87% of the possible 76 HOFs), with all 66 and their respective grades listed as follows:
Baker (4); Beckley (5); Bender/Trees in Back (4); Bender Portrait (4); Bresnahan Portrait (4.5); Bresnahan Batting/Tolstoi (3); M. Brown Chicago Shirt (4); M. Brown Cubs Shirt (1); M. Brown Portrait (2); Chance Batting/Tolstoi (3); Chance Red Portrait (3); Chesbro (4); Clarke Bat (4); Clarke Portrait (5); Cobb Bat Off/Tolstoi (3/MK); Cobb Bat On (2.5); Cobb Green Port (Auth); Cobb Red Port (Auth); E. Collins (2); J. Collins (4); Crawford Throwing (4); Crawford Batting (2.5); Davis (4); Evers Portrait (4); Evers w/Bat Cubs (4); Flick (1); Griffith Bat (2); Griffith Portrait (4); Huggins Hands at Mouth (4.5); Huggins Portrait (5); Jennings Both Hands (4); Jennings One Hand (3); Jennings Portrait (3); W. Johnson hands at Chest (3.5); W. Johnson Portrait (4); Joss Pitching (4); Keeler Portrait (2.5); Keeler w/Bat (4); Kelley (3.5); Lajoie Portrait (2); Lajoie Throwing (3); Marquard Follow-Thru (4); Marquard Hands at Thighs (4); Marquard Portrait (4); Mathewson Dark Cap (4); Mathewson White Cap (4); McGinnity (4); McGraw Finger in Air (4); McGraw Glove at Hip (4); McGraw Port No Cap (4/MK); McGraw Port w/Cap (3.5); Speaker (2.5); Tinker Bat Off (4); Tinker Bat On (4); Tinker Hands at Knees (3/MK); Tinker Portrait (3); Waddell Portrait (3); Waddell Throwing (4); Wallace (2.5); Walsh (4/MC); Wheat (4); Willis Portrait (4); Willis Throwing (4); Willis w/Bat (4); Cy Young Glove Shows (1.5); Cy Young Portrait (3.5)
Of the highly coveted 48 Southern Leaguers, 43 subjects (90%) are included with their PSA assessments as follows:
Bastian (4); Bay (4); Bernhard (4); Breitenstein (5); Carey (4); Coles (4); Cranston (4); Ellam (4); Foster (4); Fritz (3); Guiheen (4); Bill Hart (4); Jimmy Hart (4); Helm (5); Hickman (5); Howard (4); Jordan (4); Kiernan (4); King (4); Lentz (4); Lipe (4); Manion (4); McCauley (4.5); Miller (4); Molesworth (4); Mullaney (5); Orth (4); Otey (4); Paige (4); Persons (3); Revelle (3.5); Rockenfeld (4); Ryan (4); Seitz (4); Shaughnessy (2); Carlos Smith (4); Sid Smith (3); Stark (4); Thebo (4); Thornton (4); Violat (4); Westlake (4); Foley White (4)
Of the 470 subjects, 397 reflect Piedmont (252) and Sweet Caporal (145) ad backs as well as 20 including Southern Leaguer Old Mill versos (you can view the players and respective grades on the PSA Set Registry. More obscure advertisement backs are as follows:
1 American Beauty 460/No Frame (Overall/Hand Face Level/5); 2 EPDG (Ford/3 & Lundgren KC/3); 3 Cycle 350 (Beck/4; McElveen/3 & Moran/4); 5 Tolstoi (Bresnahan Batting/3; Chance Batting/3; Cobb Bat Off/3MK; L. Doyle Port/4; Willis Batting/4); 6 Old Mill/Non-Southern Leaguers (Donlin Bat/4; Fromme/5; Hallman/4; Quillen/4; Seymour Port/4 & Zimmermann/4); 11 Polar Bear (Blackburne/3.5; Bradley Bat/4; Evans/5; Leach Bending Over/4; O'Brien/4; Purtell/5; Doc White Pitching/4; Graham Boston/4; Gray/2.5; Hoffman/4; Wiltse Port w/Cap/4; 25 Sovereign (4 – 150 Subjects: Killian Pitching/4; McGraw Finger in Air/4; Overall Port/4; Wallace/2.5; 16 – 350 Subjects: Bush/4; Dougherty Port/4; Doyle NY Hands Above Head/3; Elberfeld Wash/2.5; Flanagan/4; Jackson/4.5; Konetchy Near Ground/4; Kroh/4; McGann/5; Merkle Port/4.5; Perring/4.5; F. Smith Chi./3.5; Speaker/2.5; Tenney/4.5; Wiltse Port No Cap/4; Murphy Throwing 4; 5 – 460 Subjects: Bell Follow-Thru/4; Bridwell w/Cap/4; Geyer/4; Merkle Throwing/4; Meyers/4.5)
All 470 cards include technical assessments between PSA 1 and PSA 6 with all a summary of the grades as follows: EX-MT 6: 1 Card; EX+ 5.5: 2 Cards; EX 5: 57 Cards; VG/EX+ 4.5: 46 Cards; VG/EX 4: 278 Cards; VG+ 3.5: 21 Cards; VG 3: 29 Cards; Good+ 2.5: 14 Cards; Good 2: 8 Cards; Fair 1.5: 1 Card; Poor 1: 2 Cards; Authentic: 2 Cards. Rounding out the 470 card offering are 9 cards w/Qualifiers including 1 EX/MT 6; 1 EX 5; 4 VG/EX 4's; 3 VG 3's. A formidable 381 cards (81%) of the total subjects depict grades between "VG" and "EX", placing this superb compilation as a virtual mid-grade set. Only 5 cards carry assessments lower than a "2" grade of which a mere 2 examples have received "Authentic" grades.
As most tobacco enthusiasts realize, it would take an excruciating period of time to compile such an extensive T206 grouping with all of the cards encapsulated within PSA's renowned grading system. Our utmost compliments to Mr. Jim Haas and his extraordinary family for providing this grand opportunity to an extremely thankful collecting community, for it stands as a sheer testament to Jim's enduring memory that will surely "echo for eternity". In closing, we can only hope that another ardent enthusiast will capture this truly exalted compilation and pick up where Jim left off in a relentless pursuit of completing the hallowed T206 set!