An unopened cigarette pack? You read that correctly; one of the greatest unopened finds for sports cards is a cigarette pack. Feast your eyes on one of the rarest items in sports!
You may have heard of the most famous baseball card of all-time: the T206 Honus Wagner. Any time a price record is made in the hobby, a Wagner is usually behind the sale. In August, a Wagner was sold for 7.25 MILLION dollars. Wagner was part of the T206 Tobacco set in which one card was placed inside of various brands of tobacco between 1909 and 1911. On the front of each card is a painted version of the player and on the back is an advertisement of the tobacco brand. In total there are 16 different backs! Only about 50 copies of the Wanger card exist and the theories are either he chose to have his card not printed to prevent kids from smoking or the American Tobacco Company didn’t agree to the compensation for his likeness on the card. Imagine pulling a pack-fresh tobacco card that is over 100 years old!
Sports Collectors Daily uploaded the video below from the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention where they found Josh of Huggins and Scott Auctions. On-hand was a sealed pack of Sweet Caporal cigarettes! If you think it was hard to save an unopened pack of sports cards from the 1950’s, imagine how rare a sealed pack of smokes from 100 years ago may have been. A pack of cigarettes could have been sat on, rolled around the floor of a car, rolled in a shirt sleeve, left out in the rain – who knows?! A century has gone by since that pack popped up at the National.
Could a Wanger be inside that very pack? Of the 16 T206 backs, the 50 or so Wagner cards were included in Sweet Caporal! The backs for a Wager would be Piedmon 150 Factory 25, Sweet Caporal 150 Factory 25, and Sweet Caporal 150 Factory 30. A huge gamble here for certain as while there COULD be a T206 card inside, the pack could also be completely empty. Quality control back in 1909 wasn’t exactly stellar. We have seen tobacco pouches from Polar Bear (pouches of loose tobacco rather than cigarettes) opened and not yielding a card. Even if a seven-million dollar Wagner was not in the pack, the temptation of a high-grade T206 card, pack fresh, is TOUGH to leave sealed forever. The PSA pop report currently lists 262,443 graded T206 cards and there are only 14 PSA 10’s!
We’d ask YOU whether or not that pack stays sealed if it were in your hands, but you’re here on Card Breaks for a reason; we know you love ripping packs.