You never know what the mailman will bring. Over half of a complete set of 1909-1913 M101-2 Sporting News supplements have made their way to eBay after being consigned to auction through Just Collect Inc.
The photographs were originally issued as supplements to Sporting News and are among the most rare and desirable pre-War baseball artifacts. Among the first TSN supplements issued, they are on thin stock similar to newspaper, leading to frequent tearing, creasing, and other types of wear.
All 56 of these were consigned to Just Collect by the same dealer. He purchased them from a collector who put them together years ago and whose collection includes many turn of the century cards, including Old Judge cards and cabinets.
Before consigning them, the consignor graded the cards with Beckett (BVG). While he would generally have used PSA, he chose Beckett in this case because they are the only grading company that has holders large enough to accommodate M101-2s.
"Clearly, these were extremely well preserved and likely stored flat," said Just Collect's Scott Greenwald. "Because they are so rare and difficult to find in decent shape, virtually each one of the 56 cards listed is the highest graded to date from this issue."
Included in the group, which carry minimum bids ranging from $99.99 to $399.99, are Hall of Famers such as Joe Jackson, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Tris Speaker, Eddie Plank, Grover Cleveland Alexander and Addie Joss. The highest valued supplement is a hobby classic that features Ty Cobb with Honus Wagner, graded BGS 5 with none higher.
"Of course, the Cobb-Wagner and Shoeless Joe Jackson are the most expensive examples and likely will be the most popular," Greenwald said of the auction that began Monday. " I also think a lot of the less expensive ones will appeal to type card collectors who may not have had a chance to own one of these before."
The Sporting News supplements aren't cheap, of course, but compared to some baseball card issues that aren't nearly as scarce, they may be a little undervalued.
"I do think they are underrated amongst other pre-war issues," Greenwald said. " They are extremely tough to find and expensive when you do so the 'complete-ability' and 'collect-ability' of this set make it such a challenge that it is often overlooked. I also think that because of their size, storage is a challenge, leaving collectors to focus on the more popular T and E cards from that period."
Sports Collectors Daily is getting a peek inside Just Collect, eBay’s largest consignment seller of vintage sports cards. Every week, the New Jersey-based company deals with collectors, dealers, and investors across the country.
Each week, we bring you a look at the unique and rare sets and singles Just Collect handles, the stories behind some of them, and we learn first hand about the hobby trends they observe first hand from buying and selling hundreds of high-end graded sports and non-sports cards and memorabilia every week.