Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXXIV
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/29/2011
It doesn’t take a HOF player, or a high grade limited Population Report for a baseball card to be sort out by advanced collectors. Such is the case with this Bill O’Hara ‘St. Louis’ version T206 that has been graded a PSA 4. Currently, PSA’s illustrious “pop” chart indicates that only 2 examples (excluding qualifiers) have been graded higher along with an additional PSA 6Q specimen! The prestigious T206 Tobacco set issued during years 1909 thru 1911 is first renowned for the 4 high end cards to obtain including Wagner, Plank, the Magee error (Magie) and Doyle variation. After these famous four, the two scarcest variations are the St. Louis O’Hara and Demmitt versions produced by the Polar Bear cigarette company. After Bill O’Hara was traded from the New York Giants to the St. Louis Cardinals before the start of the 1910 season, only the Polar Bear company reflected this change in their tobacco issues. All other factory issues printed O’Hara in a New York Giants uniform. Hence, a significant T206 variation was born! While the exact count is unknown, the limited number of St. Louis O’Hara’s now command significant dollars, and are amongst the toughest six T206’s to obtain.
Light hitting outfielder Bill (William) O’Hara played major league baseball for only two seasons (1909 and 1910). Yet, it was his switching teams in-between those two fateful years that led to his iconic T206 St. Louis Nat’l subject. This PSA 4 offering exhibits spectacular registration and superb colored hues as O’Hara portrays his classic batting stance. Set against a robust blue and soft green background, the image is well centered between four somewhat soiled borders. The corners depict standard even wear for the grade, still retaining a majority of their original right angle shapes. The standard St. Louis version Polar bear back depicts a clear white advertisement print set against a bold mid-night blue background that favors the right edge with additional soiling along the left border. No obtrusive creasing is evident on either side, and overall, the card’s aesthetics are consistent with its technical assessment. Bottom line is that many advanced vintage collectors continue to tackle the challenge of trying to build the T206 “Monster Set”. For most, accumulating 520 of the 524 cards (excluding the aforementioned top 4) is more than sufficient for a complete set, and this mid-grade O’Hara offering (only bested by 3 specimens) presents another sparse opportunity to add one big piece to your T206 puzzle!
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