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1916 M101-5 Sporting News #176 Jim Thorpe
Starting Bid - $2,500.00 , Sold For - $44,062.50
Graded NM-MT 8 (OC) by PSA. Only one other example graded at this level (NM-MT 8 with no qualifier), with none graded higher. This is a stunning example of one of the very few baseball cards ever issued of the legendary Jim Thorpe, and one of the prize cards of the era. There are very few cards of Thorpe and his 1916 M101-5 Sporting News card, with good reason, is universally recognized as one of card collecting's great classics. It is also a particularly rare card, in fact far rarer than most collectors realize. The M101-4 and M101-5 sets are very similar sets, and, with few exceptions, include the same 200 players, but most with different card numbers (thirty card numbers [#1-7, 65-71, 141-153, and 198-200] in the M101-5 and M101-4 sets have the exact same pose and exact same card number in both 200-card sets). Thorpe is one of the players that appears in only the M101-5 series. M101-5 cards are far rarer than M101-4 series cards. The PSA Population Report provides significant evidence of the rarity of Thorpe compared with players that appear in both sets. Only eight M101-5 Thorpes in total have ever been graded by PSA, plus one example from a related set (Famous & Barr). In comparison, thirty-four Ruths have been graded between the M101-4 and M101-5 sets, plus an additional six examples listed separately in the PSA Population Report with various M101-4/5 related backs (Gimbels, Globes, F&B). The reason there are so few Thorpes in comparison to Ruths in the M101-4/5 sets is not that Ruth is a more common card. It is not. The reason is that M101-5s are rarer than M101-4s, and Thorpe only appears in the M101-5 set. This is an outstanding and extremely attractive example. M101-5 cards have a glossy coated surface, which is very susceptible to creasing. This card has no creases. The front is bright and clean. The image is crisp and has perfect contrast. The corners are razor sharp. The card is centered approximately 70/30 L/R. The blank back is perfectly clean with just a hint of toning and two tiny pinpoint chips of paper loss on the extreme edge of the top and left borders. This is a tremendous example of one of the key cards from the 1916 M101-5 Sporting News set and one of the underrated significant cards of the era. The SMR lists a value of $5,000 for PSA EX-MT 6, $9,000 for PSA NM 7, and a value of $19,000 for PSA NM-MT 8. This card is difficult to value in that it we believe it is very accurately graded and, as stated by the label, it is in NM-MT condition, yet it is qualified for centering. Whatever the value, this is a stunning card. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $44,062.50
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