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Today is a deep dive into a Type III Ty Cobb photograph from circa 1910: the photo used for his famous T206 card. It IPOs on Collectable March 18th at 1pm EST.
What is the Type III Ty Cobb Photo for T206?
We linked to this before in our Willie Mays Photo write-up, but it’s worth reading Collectable’s article about photos as collectables. Because this is a new and thinly traded asset class, the more research, the better.
Worth noting the Mays card fully funded in about twelve minutes.
This photo was taken around 1910 by Carl Horner and is the original behind the T206 Ty Cobb baseball card, one of the most notable baseball cards of all time. It’s small, measuring 4.75” x 6.75” and was graded Authentic by PSA.
Importantly, this is a Type III photograph, which is defined by PSA as:A 2nd generation photograph, developed from a duplicate negative or wire transmission, during the period (within approximately two years of when the picture was taken).
It IPOs on Collectable at 1 PM EST on March 18th for $51,000, and the consignor holds $23,250 in retained equity.
Starting with the man who took the photo, Carl Horner is most famous for taking the photo of Honus Wagner that was the inspiration for the most famous and valuable baseball card of all-time, the T206 Wagner. But in addition to the Wagner and Cobb photos, he was responsible for many early-era baseball cards and portraits and was highly influential in the look of early baseball card sets. It’s believed that his photos served as the image for thousands of baseball cards.
Read more about Horner here.
Onto the subject of the photo, Ty Cobb. A center fielder nicknamed the “Georgia Peach”, Cobb was the top player of the early part of the 20th century, playing all but two years of his 24 year career with the Detroit Tigers. He won a record eleven (or twelve, depending on the source) batting titles and still holds the record for highest career batting average (.366). He retired with the hits record until Pete Rose eclipsed him in 1985 and the runs record until Rickey Henderson passed him in 2001. He still ranks in the career top-10 in games, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, total bases, stolen bases, and WAR. Simply put, he was one of the greatest baseball players of all-time and still routinely ranks in top-10 lists.
Cobb developed a reputation as an intense competitor and sometimes dirty player and was a divisive figure among fans and teammates. His image has been shaped by mostly apocryphal and exaggerated stories. These made their way into the cultural mainstream due in large part to a discredited biography published after his death which was then made into a 1994 movie starring Tommy Lee Jones.
In reality, Cobb was a noted proponent of racial equality in baseball and prominent philanthropist, with his personal wealth fueled by early investments in General Motors and Coca-Cola stock.
While he does still have relevance today, in the modern consciousness his star has been eclipsed by Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle and others, ranking firmly in the second tier of legendary baseball players.
He is the subject of one of the most famous baseball photographs of all time — just not the one on sale.
Inferred Value – $40k to $60k
The sports memorabilia category has returned 0% ROI so far across the entire portfolio.
Recent Growth Trend
Growth Outlook and Future Catalysts
This is a unique asset and asset class that has tremendous upside if the demand for photographs starts to rise in conjunction with the boom in sports cards. The sale of the corresponding Type I photograph shows there is high demand for unique assets, though it remains to be seen if Type III photos will capture the same demand.
One auction sale in a positive or negative direction can wildly shift the value of this asset.
This will have a roughly 90 day lockup period then will trade weekly.
This is a really unique item with high upside potential, though the amount of retained equity (45.5% of the offering) is a bit of a turn-off. Ty Cobb was a longtime and savvy investor so he’d probably be tickled to be part of an investing market.
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