Two cards from a set not even known to exist for more than 60 years after it was printed are heading to the auction block.
And they’re just a couple of obscure guys that no one remembers.
The single known authenticated copy of the 1912 Plow’s Candy Honus Wagner and the highest graded example from among nine Ty Cobb cards from the rare regional product are coming to Heritage Auctions next month. Each has been graded NM 7 by PSA and both are expected to sell for six-figure prices.
The Plow’s card makes Wagner’s famously short printed T206 look plentiful.
In all, only about 175 Plow’s cards featuring about 70 different players are known to exist.
The set is believed to have been created by the St. Louis-based Plow’s Candy Company as a premium that was handed to customers during the 1912 baseball season. The checklist of known players includes many of the greats of the era including Cobb, Wagner, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Eddie Plank and Tris Speaker along with several other Hall of Famers. Why so few have ever been located is impossible to know for certain, but the cards were so obscure that their existence eluded even Jefferson Burdick, who created the American Card Catalog and chronicled virtually every known baseball card set until his death in 1963.
A find of numerous cards in the 1970s has been followed by other discoveries in the years since, but no large quantities have been discovered.
The cards are among the highest quality of the era, with actual photographs of players taken by Francis Burke done in a sepia tone on a cream-colored background. The cards feature the Plow’s name on top of the photo with the player’s last name and team below it.
The Cobb and Wagner are being consigned from the top rated collection of Plow’s cards on PSA’s Set Registry. Dubbed the “Miracle Set,” it includes 61 of the 134 total 1912 Plows Candy cards encapsulated by PSA to date. Forty-four are 1/1 highest graded and 23 are the only known examples of that particular player.
Both will be offered in the Heritage Platinum Night Auction, set to open February 4.