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1916 Gimbels #97 Napoleon Lajoie SGC EX 60 - Highest Graded!
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,560
Graded EX 60 by SGC (submitted by REA). This is the only example graded at this level with none higher! Presented is an extraordinary example of Philadelphia Athletics Hall of Famer Napoleon Lajoie featuring the exceedingly rare Gimbels advertising back. This is a very rare back for any M101-4, let alone for Nap Lajoie, one of the key cards to the set! This card (and set) is usually referred to as issued by the Sporting News, but the M101-4/5 sets were actually issued with a variety of advertising backs as well as with blank backs. The M101-4/5 sets were also issued as promotional vehicles for a number of regional businesses, among them Gimbels Department Store, which had locations in New York, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee in 1916. Fascinating research by vintage-card scholar Todd Schultz has turned up period newspaper advertisements which reveal that these cards were issued by the Milwaukee store in groups of twenty cards. (Todd's research, and copies of the ads, can be found here: http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=203319.) We are pleased to be able to support this theory by reporting that this card (along with the other 160 Gimbels offered in this auction) have been consigned by a Milwaukee-area family, who has kept these cards in its possession for decades! Like most of the regionally issued M101-4/5 sets, we have never seen or heard of a complete set of Gimbels, which makes this Lajoie and the accompanying cards offered elsewhere in this auction an extremely significant offering. To date, SGC and PSA have combined to grade only 119 examples (of all subjects) from this rare set. The card features Lajoie in a batting pose. This is an outstanding and extremely attractive example in all respects. The image is bold and crisp. It is centered very well, with very light touches of wear in the corners. Gimbels cards (like all M101-4/5 related sets) have a glossy coated surface, which is very susceptible to creasing. This card is free of any creases or wrinkles. The printed advertisement for Gimbels on the reverse is clean and crisp. This is an exceptional card, dating from the end of Lajoie’s great career, worthy of the finest Nap Lajoie, Hall of Fame, or rare vintage baseball-card collection. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,560
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