Ten Valuable Walter Johnson Baseball Collectibles

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Walter Johnson made his major league debut with the Washington Senators on August 2, 1907. Valuable Walter Johnson baseball collectibles include rare tobacco cards, Hall of Fame busts, autographed photos, signed canceled checks and handwritten letters.

Walter Johnson (1887-1946) was one of baseball's greatest pitchers. Known as "Barney" and "The Big Train," Johnson played his entire 1907-1927 major league career with the Washington Senators, amassing a 417-279 won-loss record, 3,509 strikeouts, 110 shutouts and a lifetime earned run average of 2.17. Along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson – the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1913 and 1924 – was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class of 1936.

Here are ten Walter Johnson baseball collectibles that are sure to interest historians and sports memorabilia enthusiasts. Now taking the mound once again The Big Train – Walter Johnson...

Walter Johnson 1911 T206 Baseball Card

Vintage tobacco cards can bring big bucks. A graded Walter Johnson baseball card with gold border from the 1911 T206 tobacco series in SGC 84 near mint 7 condition brought $5,875 at auction. Surviving cards in this kind of condition are extremely rare.

Walter Johnson 1911 Sweet Caporal tobacco card $5,875 - Robert Edward Auctions

Walter Johnson 1939 Signed Canceled Check

Old celebrity checks never die, they become collector's items. A December 1, 1939, bank check filled out and signed by Walter Johnson sold at auction for $2,937.50. Walter Johnson checks were virtually nonexistent until the Johnson family began releasing his canceled checks to the collecting public some 13 years ago.

Walter Johnson 1939 check $2,937.50 - Robert Edward Auctions

Walter Johnson 1927 Autographed Photo

The Big Train autographed a vintage photo with the inscription, "Best Wishes - Walter Johnson - June 13, 1927." This item fetched $1,528 at auction.

Walter Johnson 1911 M116 Sporting Life Baseball Card

Walter Johnson's entry in the 1911 baseball card series produced by the publication Sporting Life is duly recognized as one of his best. One graded example in spectacular PSA mint 9 condition sold at auction for $12,925.

Walter Johnson 1911 Sporting Life card $12,925 - Robert Edward Auctions

Walter Johnson 1914 E224 Texas Tommy Type 2 Baseball Card

Not much is known of the super rare 1914 Texas Tommy baseball card set, which the late collecting pioneer Jefferson Burdick believed to be a candy issue. A graded Walter Johnson type 2 example in SGC 50 very good/excellent 4 condition brought a whopping $15,080 at auction. The type 1 version is larger and features a different image of Johnson.


Walter Johnson 1914 Texas Tommy type 2 card $15,080 - Robert Edward Auctions

Walter Johnson 1912 L1 Leather Tobacco Premium

L1 leather premiums were available through the mail only. It took 50 coupons from Helmar Turkish Trophies brand tobacco to acquire a baseball leather premium in 1912. A Walter Johnson example in excellent to mint condition sold at auction for $22,040.

Walter Johnson 1912 tobacco leather premium $22,040 - Robert Edward Auctions

Walter Johnson Circa 1940 Handwritten Letter

A circa 1940 one-page letter handwritten and signed by Walter Johnson on Dr. Pepper Bottling Company stationery brought $1,624 at auction. The Big Train served as a spokesman for Dr. Pepper during the late 1930s and early '40s.

Walter Johnson 1916 D381 Ferguson Bakery Baseball Card

From time to time new discoveries are made in the card collecting world. A newly unearthed Walter Johnson card issued by Ferguson Bakery in 1916 came to light in 2010. The only example known to exist, this graded card without bottom tab in SGC 30 good 2 condition sold at auction for $8,962.50.

Walter Johnson 1916 Ferguson Bakery card $8,962.50 - Heritage Auction Galleries

Walter Johnson 1963 Hall of Fame Bust in Box

A 1963 Walter Johnson Hall of Fame bust in its original box and wrapper brought a reasonable $69 at auction.

Walter Johnson 1911 T3 Turkey Red Tobacco Baseball Card

A graded Walter Johnson 1911 T3 tobacco card with Turkey Red cigarettes back in PSA excellent 5 condition sold at auction for $1,553.50.

Walter Johnson 1911 Turkey Red cigarette card $1,553.50 - Heritage Auction Galleries

Walter Johnson Sports Memorabilia Credits & Top Image

  • Auction results and images courtesy Robert Edward Auctions, LLC, Watchung, New Jersey, and Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas
  • Top image: Walter Johnson 1914 B18 blanket green pennants version in excellent/mint condition $203.15 - Heritage Auction Galleries