Suddenly, America’s attics are raining century-old baseball cards.
On Tuesday, SCP Auctions announced what it’s calling “The Southern Fairway Find” of over 1,000 1909-1911 baseball tobacco cards including an unprecedented discovery of 42 rare T206 Hindu backs and two newly discovered examples of the legendary T210 Old Mill Joe Jackson card. The announcement comes just a couple of weeks after news that a hoard of more than 700 1910 E-98s in high grade had been pulled virtually untouched from an Ohio attic.
According to SCP, which recently sold an early Babe Ruth Yankee jersey for $4.4 million, the latest find came from an estate in the southeastern U.S. They have stayed in the same family for three generations, having been collected by the original owner at the time of issue.
“The family knew the cards had some value, but the full extent of value and rarity, particularly the Red Hindus, is far beyond their previous expectations,” SCP’s Dan Imler told Sports Collectors Daily.
For serious T206 collectors, especially those who chase the back variations, the find will be especially good news. It includes 42 extremely rare Red Hindu back examples, nearly doubling the known population. Thirteen of those cards are Hall of Famers including two Ty Cobb Red Portrait cards the company calls “astonishing”.
An additional 16 Brown Hindu backs are present.
The collection includes T3 Turkey Red cards (including Cobb and Mathewson), Colgan’s Chips discs (including Cobb and Wagner) and 158 cards from the 1910 T210 Old Mill issue, including many from the scarce 8th Series.
‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson’s card from this series of Southern Leaguers accounts for one of the most coveted rarities in the field of card collecting, representing the early stages of his pro career. Only a handful have survived the last century and the card is extremely popular with collectors. A PSA 3.5 copy sold in Robert Edward Auctions’ spring catalog for $199,750. Locating two in one collection is unheard of.
The condition of the cards in the collection is quite strong, averaging VG-VG/EX as a whole.
“We are in the process of having most of the cards graded that we’ve deemed appropriate for grading,” Imler stated. “Much of the collection will be sold raw.”
SCP Auctions will feature cards from “The Southern Fairway Find” in two parts this fall.