Heritage Auctions will offer a nearly complete set of 1910-11 M116 Sporting Life baseball cards in its upcoming November Trading Card Auction. “The Philly Find” is a group of 315 cards that were kept by a Philadelphia family where they had been passed down since the time of issue. The set, which immediately took over first place on the PSA Set Registry after the cards were authenticated and graded, is expected to sell for over $200,000. Auction officials call it an “historic discovery.”
The collection includes all of the top Hall of Famers in the set, the scarce “Blue Background and third series “Blank Back” variations. The cards were found with nearly 40 of the original envelopes from The Sporting Life, which distributed them by series as part of a mail-in opportunity offered to its readers. Each series of cards contained 12 cards and was sold for 4 cents. The publication, a more short-lived competitor of The Sporting News, was based in Philadelphia.
The cards were virtually untouched, despite their age. Fifty cards rated PSA 9 (mint), another 166 were rated 8 and the Topsy Hartsel was graded 10—becoming the second of only two M116 cards at that level.
Within the group of 8s and 9s are Ty Cobb (both versions), Christy Mathewson (both Blue and Pastel versions), Nap Lajoie (both versions), Honus Wagner (both versions), Eddie Collins, Walter Johnson, Sam Crawford, Hughie Jennings and Eddie Plank. Sixty cards now represent the highest graded examples ever offered. Another 44 are “Pop Two With None Higher.”
The 38 envelopes were also slabbed by PSA “for protection and pedigree,” according to Heritage.
The collection will be the focal point of the auction, which is slated to open October 28 with hundreds of lots closing over a three-day period in November.
A complete rundown of the cards, along with additional front and back images, can be found here.