"Fresh to the Hobby" 1909 Ramly T204 Walter Johnson (PSA 2 Good)
BIG TRAIN!!!...One of the hobby's illustrious keepsakes is the highly coveted 1909 T204 Ramly Walter Johnson, generally accepted as one of his inaugural MLB conventional sized cards. Indeed, along with his 1909 T206 subjects, the T204 Johnson resides as one of his "mainstream" rookie cards. While the ultra-rare Johnson 1908 Rose Postcard (for which there are only three known examples) precedes his Ramly issue by a single year, many meticulous hobbyists still negate the concept of postcards sufficing as true baseball cards. Regardless of your viewpoint on the "Big Train's" true rookie card, his T204 Ramly subject certainly stands tall as one of Johnson's most significant cardboard issues. Presented here just happens to be a superb PSA 2 GOOD offering of this extremely condition sensitive memento.
Recently graded by PSA and "fresh to the hobby", it was consigned by a Massachusetts native who has retained the card for the past 60+ years! Its scarcity is substantiated by the PSA "Pop" Chart listing only 36 encapsulated T204 Ramly Johnson's (at the time this was written). For some inexplicable reason, the ornate and stylish 1909 T204 Ramly set does not include most of the legendary "turn of the century" Hall of Famers, excluding such icons as Cobb, Wagner, Mathewson, Lajoie and Speaker. While it remains a mystery as to why the aforementioned players were omitted from its distribution, fortunately, one of the set's exalted subjects just happens to be Walter Johnson who ultimately embarked on an unparalleled career leading to his arguable stature as the greatest pitcher who ever toed an MLB pitching rubber. Johnson's accomplishments are virtually insurmountable, including 417 lifetime wins, 3,508 strikeouts, a lifetime 2.17 ERA, and an incredible 110 shutouts (including 38 "1-0" wins).
He succeeded the great Christy Mathewson as our National Pastime's consummate professional and was idolized by thousands of aspiring young ballplayers. Strongly consistent with Johnson's supreme pitching prowess are the stellar attributes of this esteemed offering that emanates eye appeal beyond its rather strict technical assessment. An imposing black & white central image of Carl Horner's legendary Johnson portrait image emanates atypical near perfect contrast and crystal clear focus with Johnson's youthful image serving as a strong reminder of his transition from a simple farm boy to our National Pastime's pinnacle hurler. Encompassed by the popular gold-bordered oval and flamboyant background gold designs, the immortal pose is well-positioned (w/only a modest partiality towards the right edge) between gold-hued borders that, atypically, have managed to elude obtrusive surface chipping.
Accounting for the grade are stray wrinkles most notably situated near the lower left corner, central lower border and upper left edge, as well as standard even corner wear. Of utmost significance is the central image eluding any glaring blemishes, and the rather clean verso reveals the classic "Ramly Turkish Cigarette" advertisement in bold fashion. Seldom surfacing for the taking, there are no recent public pricing points for a "Good"/"VG" example; however, in July 2021, Memory Lane did sell a PSA 5 T204 Johnson for a record $61,792. That imposing pricing point stands as the perfect testament for a Walter Johnson issue that some 13 months later, we cannot even begin to estimate its true value in a hobby that is currently realizing extraordinary pricing points for baseball's premier immortals. Simply stated, considering the 1908 Walter Johnson Rose Postcard is basically non-existent, hobbyists "fall back" on his 1909 T204 Ramly subject as an "alternative" rookie card issue, justifying why you should ride this truly scarce "Big Train" heirloom directly into the heart of your prized collection!
MIN BID $5,000