For the most serious collector, the most coveted card in the T206 baseball card set isn't Honus Wagner.
While the Wagner may garner more media attention and has risen to symbolize the vintage baseball card hobby, the T206 Joe Doyle error is actually much more scarce.
A printer's error turned Doyle into a National Leaguer, if only for a few brief rolls of the press. The "NY Nat'l" designation appears on fewer than ten Doyle cards today--or so it's thought.
Last week, Goodwin & Company sold one of those cards, graded only "Authentic" by SGC. The final bid, with buyer's premium (17.5%), was $186,155. 32 bids were made for the card. The last Doyle sold was a mid-grade example that sold for $329,000 last spring by REA.
It's likely the manufacturer got Joe Doyle, a pitcher, confused with crosstown rival Larry Doyle, an infielder with the team that became the New York Giants. Members of the NL New York club and those of the AL soon-to-be-Yankees are identified by the league notations at the bottom of each T206 card.
Doyle, Wagner, Eddie Plank and the Sherry Magee error card are the four toughest cards in the T206 set and they're so hard to find (and expensive) that the set is really considered complete without them.
Those chasing full sets have long struggled to find them and over the past 15-20 years, the prices have gotten above the means of most average collectors. Even cards of Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and others don't approach even the more pedestrian examples of Doyle and Wagner. A high grade Hall of Famer might sell for more than a lower grade Plank or Magie.
It's believed the T206 Doyle card was printed in 1910, so it's now 100 years old. The T206 set was issued over the span of three years; 1909-1911.
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