The NFL wouldn't kick off more than 20 years. The college game was mostly an east coast phenomenon and the players weren't always looked at in high regard. Some thought football was so rough it should be banned on those campuses where it was gaining a foothold. Thankfully, that didn't happen but collectors can go back to that raw moment in history through the 1894 Mayo's Cut Plug football set.
The granddaddy of pigskin cardboard, Mayo's cards are super scarce and valuable. The set is home to the Honus Wagner of football cards, the John Dunlop "Anonymous".
New Jersey-based Just Collect Inc. recently sold that card and they have been handling several other Mayo's football--and some of their baseball brethren--via eBay auctions. Last week, they sold a PSA 3 Frank Hinkey for $1,634. Several others brought $450-600 even in lower grade.
Scarce vintage football cards are always desirable but when football season comes around, sales of all eras tend to increase.
Or do they?
We chatted with Leighton Sheldon of Just Collect at this year's National Sports Collectors Convention where some of those cards were on display and he was hoping to shake out more football goodies with a new season about to get underway.
You can check out those Mayo's for auction and sale here among the company's 3,300+ listings.