I show them off because I am proud to own them. I show them off because I’m hoping to turn some of you onto some of the true Cardboard Icons. I show them off because these are the kind of cards that YOU could own. Yeah, you.
Today I present the newest Cardboard Icon: The 1909-1911 T206 Polar Bear back Walter Johnson.
Johnson was part of the inaugural class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. He was inducted along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner. Yeah, he was pretty good.
Dubbed the “Big Train,” Johnson hurled his way into history by playing 21 seasons during which he won 417 games (including 110 complete game shutouts), struck out 3509 batters, and posted a career 2.17 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.
This PSA T206 Johnson came to the Cardboard Icons collection in February 2012. While the overall grade leaves much to be desired, the card presents nicely. Johnson T206 cards in this grade usually are offered for $250-$350, and they are usually of the more common “Piedmont” back. This slightly tougher version went below that market.
Tip: Remember, if you’re in the market for one of these century old cards, make sure they are already graded by PSA, BVG/BGS or SGC. There are a lot of reprints on the market, many of which are falsely altered to look old. Buying a card not graded by one of these three top grading companies could lead to an expensive mistake.