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Lot # 421 (of 873)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1916 M101-4 Sporting News/Bucyrus Brewing Complete Set of 200 Uncut Sheet

Starting Bid - $7,500.00, Sold For - $28,750.00

Offered is a complete set of one of the most highly regarded and collected baseball card sets of the era, the 1916 M101-4 set of 200 cards, on an uncut sheet. This is the only uncut sheet of this extremely significant set known to exist. This set is highlighted by Babe Ruth, Joe Jackson, Honus Wagner, and Ty Cobb, and includes all the top stars of the day. Hall of Famers and key stars that appear in the set include #4 Grover Alexander, #9 Frank Baker, #10 Dave Bancroft, #13 Chief Bender, #17 Mordecai Brown, #28 Max Carey, #32 Eddie Cicotte (Black Sox), #34 Eddie Collins, #36 Charles Comiskey, #38 Ty Cobb, #41 Sam Crawford, #54 Johnny Evers, #55 Urban Faber, #56 Hap Felsch (Black Sox), #64 Chic Gandil (Black Sox), #72 Clark Griffith, #84 Harry Hooper, #86 Miller Huggins, #87 Joe Jackson (Black Sox), #90 Hugh Jennings, #91 Walter Johnson, #97 Napoleon Lajoie, #107 Connie Mack, #112 Rabbit Maranville, #113 Rube Marquard, #116 John McGraw, #142 Eppa Rixey, #144 Wilbert Robinson, #146 Ed Roush, #151 Babe Ruth, #154 Ray Schalk, #164 George Sisler, #169 Casey Stengel, #174 Joe Tinker, #182 Honus Wagner, #184 Ed Walsh, #186 Buck Weaver (Black Sox), and #188 Zach Wheat. The M101-4 set is commonly referred to as issued by Sporting News, but as most collectors know, the set was actually issued by many different companies, including Sporting News. Some of these regional issuers placed their advertising on the reverse of the cards, others left the backs blank. Collectors traditionally refer to blank-backed examples as Sporting News, though it is not possible to identify with certainty the issuer of the blank-backed cards. The offered set of 200 cards in original uncut form is accompanied by advertising on the extra large bottom margin for the Bucyrus Brewing Company of Bucyrus, Ohio. This sheet makes for an especially impressive display, as the extra large margin at top provides the title and year of issue of the set, "1916 - Baseball's Hall of Fame - 1916." In this case, the reference to "Baseball's Hall of Fame" is not Cooperstown, which was not established until 1936, but is rather a general and common term in use at this time referring to baseball's greatest players. This term ("Baseball's Hall of Fame") appears as the title of the set in the printed text on the reverse of some M101-4 regional issues, as well as on the reverse of the very closely related 200-card 1917 E135 Collins-McCarthy set, (which was also issued with a variety of different advertising reverses and was apparently produced by the very same printer). In the lower left corner of the sheet is the printer's credit, which reads, "Published by Felix Mendelsohn, Peoples Gas Bldg., Chicago." Apparently the extra text above and below the cards was added by the printer so that a number of uncut sheets could be used, if desired, for display at Bucyrus Brewing, or for use as advertising displays in bars. We will never know for certain whether any uncut sheets were ever displayed at Bucyrus Brewing or at retail establishments. The stock of the cards on the sheet is the same sturdy card stock on which all M101-4 cards are printed. The backs, like most M101-4 cards, are blank. There are very few sheets of baseball cards that have survived from the teens or before. The number of known sheets (or even partial sheets) from this era can literally be counted on one hand, and include two 30-card 1910-era caramel card sheets, an Obak partial sheet, and the Wagner uncut strip of five cards. We may be forgetting a sheet or two, but this M101-4 sheet of 200 cards is both the largest and most substantial of all of the very few surviving uncut sheets of baseball cards from this era. The fact that it is such a key set of the era, and one of the very few sets which includes virtually all major league players of the day, make this unique sheet one of the most significant uncut sheets of baseball cards that could possibly exist. The set alone lists in the Standard Catalogue at $35,000 in Nr/Mt condition. High-grade examples routinely sell at far higher levels. For example, the SMR for #151 Ruth in PSA 8 NM-MT is $50,000. The SMR for #87 Jackson in PSA 8 NM-MT is $19,500. Of course, there has never been a formula for determining the value of uncut sheets, but these figures might be deserving of reference to some in attempting to place a value on this unique complete set uncut sheet. This sheet is an incredible museum-quality display piece. It is a miracle, especially in light of its large dimensions, that it has survived in such beautiful condition, never having fallen victim to a scissors or a cutting board, with cards having no fading whatsoever, images perfectly crisp and bold. Large sheets naturally have many opportunities for minor imperfections. Close inspection of this sheet reveals a couple of minor creases, a few small scratches, and some light soiling and general wear in places, but all of these imperfections are relatively minor, and for a sheet of this size they are especially not significant, and do not detract from its extraordinary display value, and overall Excellent appearance. An extremely impressive display, featuring 200 cards, representing a complete set of one of the most important baseball card issues of the era. The sheet measure 40 x 27 inches, and has been beautifully matted and framed to total dimensions of 47 x 34 inches. Reserve $7,500. Estimate $15,000/$30,000. SOLD FOR $28,750.00

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