The David Hall T206 Collection
The David Hall Collection represents the culmination of two great enterprises, separated from one another by a century's time. The first, of course, is the series of 524 baseball subjects, innovated and distributed by the American Tobacco Company between 1909 and 1911, celebrated today as the T206 issue. Though baseball tobacco cards had been a part of American culture for the better part of fifty years at the time of its release, the T206 set marked a watershed moment in the hobby and continues to reign as the great masterpiece of the genre as we enter the twelfth decade since its debut.
The second great enterprise was the calling of one dedicated collector, a man whose contributions to this multi-billion dollar industry earn him a spot on the Mount Rushmore of its pioneers. David Hall, founder of Collector's Universe---the umbrella under which reside such entities as PSA, PSA/DNA and PCGS---envisioned for himself a quest to locate every existing variation of subject and advertising back of the T206 set, a task that would prove far more daunting than he could have possibly imagined at its inception.
Until now, the larger hobby's benefit from this project has come in the form of educational text published in Sports Market Report as Hall's research shone light upon previously unseen anatomy of "The Monster." Hall pursued his quarry with the analytical mind of a laboratory scientist, chasing down every lead until convinced that no further species lurked beyond his view.
Those are the cards he loves the most, the spectacularly obscure, the one-of-one rarities that elevate his remarkable collection to a position where no other could follow. But when the mountain top is reached, and the flag is planted, the intrepid spirit turns his eyes to other peaks, and it is for this reason that we are granted the extraordinary privilege to present the most comprehensive T206 collection ever assembled to the collecting community.
Like any great leader, Hall has inspired legions of followers, and today advanced T206 collectors are just as obsessed with various formats of advertising backs as they are by the practitioners of our national pastime on the front. Like the live ball, or the designated hitter, the game is forever changed.
Now is the time for the most serious players of this new game to step forward to greet David Hall's latest (and some would say greatest) contribution to the hobby, the contents of the project itself. While the catalog will be treasured as a research document for decades to come, democratizing the painstaking research of a ten-year quest, the most comprehensive T206 collection ever assembled will be spread to the collecting winds in several auctions during the next two years. We hold no delusions that such an exhaustive compilation will ever arise again.
But if there is any hope, the man to rise to that challenge must aggressively participate in the competition for this collection's most endangered species, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at ownership. Those schooled in the arc of hobby history would agree that singular rarity has been a consistent theme of successful investing, but it will take far more than financial aptitude to enlist in this fight. Heritage is an auction house, and commerce is the name of our game, but The David Hall Collection is first and foremost a labor of love, and love is what it will take to rise to the top of the new rankings once Mr. Hall has officially abdicated that position. All of us have a role to play in the curation of his personal masterpiece, and we here at Heritage are enormously grateful to play ours.