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1910-1911 M116 Sporting Life Blue Background Near-Complete Set (20/24)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,555
This near-complete set of 1910-1911 Sporting Life "Blue Background" cards consists of twenty different (plus one duplicate, for a total of 21 cards) of the twenty-four cards in the set. The eight Hall of Famers included are highlighted by Christy Mathewson (EX), Roger Bresnahan (Near Mint), Sam Crawford (EX/NM), and Nap Lajoie (EX). M116 Sporting Life cards were issued in subsets of 24 cards per series. The most distinctive (actually the only distinctive) 24-card subset of this classic issue is also the series which includes most of the greatest stars of the set. The prized "Blue Background" series is by far the most desirable M116 series of 24 cards. These 24 cards were actually issued with both blue backgrounds and white backgrounds. The Blue Background cards have always been especially appreciated by collectors for their scarcity and distinctive style, as well as for the unparalleled concentration of quality players included. Being the first 24 cards issued, it is obvious that Sporting Life wanted to introduce the M116 set with a series including many of the greatest stars of the day. The twenty different cards in this lot include eight of the eleven Hall of Famers in the Blue Background series, including Mathewson and Lajoie. All of the cards have been graded and encapsulated by SGC. One card is NM, two are EX/NM, five EX, four VG-EX, three VG, three GD, and two FR. The twenty-one “Blue Background” cards in the collection are graded individually as follows: Bender (HOF, VG 40), Bresnahan (HOF, NM 84), Chance (HOF, FAIR 20), Chase (VG 40), Collins (HOF, VG 40), Crawford (HOF, EX/NM 80), two Davis (EX 60 and GOOD 30), Donovan (VG/EX 50), Dooin (VG/EX 50), Doyle (VG/EX 50), Gibson (GOOD 30), Jennings (HOF, GOOD 30), Jones (EX/NM 80), Jordan (VG/EX 50), Lajoie (HOF, EX 60), Lord (VG/EX 50), Mathewson (HOF, EX 60), McQuillan (FAIR 20), Tenney (EX 60), and Thomas (EX 60). The collection of twenty different Blue Background cards is missing only the following four cards for completion of the series: Brown, Cobb, Leach, and Wagner. M116 Sporting Life is one of the most significant and highly collectible issues of the 1910 era. Though traditionally valued similarly to tobacco cards of the era, they are considerably scarcer than their tobacco-card counterparts (such as T205 and T206). The distinctive style of the Blue Background cards, and inclusion of so many major stars, makes this series of great interest not just to M116 set collectors, but to collectors who are not interested in tackling the entire set, but have interest in a representation of the M116 set. This is a very impressive-looking group with most cards having an appearance superior to their technically accurate assigned grades. The equivalent SMR value for the group is $5,070. Total: 21 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000+. SOLD FOR $3,555
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