Sports Collectors

Illinois T206 Collector Cleans Up at The National

Tom Larson came to the National Sports Collectors Convention looking for a few good cards.

He’s retired, he says. It’s just a hobby.

Tom Larson shows off some of his T206 cards.

You know, some people play golf. Others travel.Some find a part time job.

Larson made the short trip from his Joliet, IL home to the Stephens Convention Center where he knew he’d find a big variety of the stuff he chases.

“Anything pre-war,” he says modestly.

All this while he’s sorting through T206 slabs like they are in the commons tub.

Before he was done at one booth, his sifting yielded about 75 of the tobacco cards.

Larson explains, “I put sets together. just sold a T206 set at auction.”

The ongoing search for 500 cards to complete basic sets of the iconic American Tobacco Company issue is a labor of love and these were too good to ignore.

“Everything was a PSA three or higher. There were some Hall of Famers there.”

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He ended up coughing up $7,500 – in cash.

Illinois T206 Collector Cleans Up at The National

He’ll get his money back.

“The one I just sold was $270,000. It was missing just three cards: the seven-figure Honus Wagner along with two of the other “big four” from the set: Eddie Plank and the Joe Doyle “NY Nat’l” error. Most collectors of more modest means consider a set to be essentially complete without the high dollar scarcities.

Illinois T206 Collector Cleans Up at The National

There is never a shortage of buyers looking for a T206 set. “I’ll probably sell three sets this year,” he told SC Daily.  “It’s the most collectable set in the hobby,” Larson details, “This and 1933 Goudey.”

While buying online is easy, hunting for bulk discounts and tough to find cards at the National enables him to accumulate cards at a rapid pace as he checks off cards on his want list. He’s good at it.

Good enough to build, sell and build again.

For full coverage of the show, click here.

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