Oh to be James Schatz. At the age of 8 he started collecting baseball cards. This would have been in the 1920s, so you get an idea of the type of cards he had in his collection.
The collecting bug continued into the 1950s, when he would grab the latest Topps sets and upgrade the cards he acquired earlier. The result was a vast collection of T205, T206, Topps cards and everything in between that is quite fun to look through today.
And bidders will get the chance to do just that through Conestoga Auction Co. of Manheim, Pa. Before Schatz passed away earlier this year at the age of 90, he consigned these pivotal cards to auction in a sale that will end Oct. 19. Bidding will be conducted live at the Conestoga Auction Co. headquarters and online through liveauctioneers.com. You can view the entire single-owner auction and bid now through Live Auctioneers (search by company, select Conestoga Auction Co.).
“He was a neat guy,” Jeff Dehart of Conestoga Auction Co. said of Schatz. “He was also a collector of antique and modern firearms. He was stationed on a C-47 as a radio operator. They dropped the 82nd Airborne over D-Day, and his plane was shot many, many times. He was a real hero in WWII.”
While many of the cards from the Schatz Collection are mid-grade or worse, there are some big-ticket items in the sale, starting with a T206 Sweet Caporal Eddie Plank graded PSA 2.5. A near set of 1907-09 Novelty Cutlery postcards are present, including the biggies: Honus Wagner PSA 6, Cobb/Wagner PSA 6, Walter Johnson PSA 5.5, Christy Mathewson PSA 6.5 and Tris Speaker PSA 5.
There are hundreds of T205 Gold Borders and T206 White Borders in the 804-lot auction. Among the highlights in this section are T206 Piedmont Home Run Baker PSA 7, T206 Sweet Caporal Cobb Bat On Shoulder PSA 5, T206 Piedmont Christy Mathewson Dark Cap PSA 6, T205 Cobb PSA 4, T205 Gold Border Richard Hobliztell (with Cincinnati) BVG 2 and T206 Piedmont Rube Marquard Portrait BVG 6.
For postwar cards, there is a complete 1952 Topps set, many offered as singles, with the Mickey Mantle card graded PSA 4 and Andy Pafko graded PSA 3. There’s also a 1952 Bowman Mantle graded PSA 4. Also find examples from 1953 Topps and other assorted sets through the 1970s.
To provide an example of the depth of cards in this auction, here are some other sets offered in various forms (as singles, groups, near sets, etc.): E-95 Philadelphia Caramels, P-2 series pins, W-517s, Goudey R319s, R-310 Butterfinger premiums, Orbit Gum pinbacks, 1950s Bowmans, 1953 Post Cereals, Baseball Magazine premiums and much more.
This is a great opportunity to pick up affordable cardboard from the early days of the hobby.
“This is a 100 percent unreserved sale,” Dehart said. “Every card, doesn’t matter if it’s a $10,000 card or a $10 card, it all goes to the highest bidder that day of the auction. Everything in the sale is going to a new home.”