1910 T210 Old Mill Tobacco Joe Jackson

Sold For: $168,000

Auction Year: 2015 spring

Lot: 2

Item Year: 1910

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Graded VG 40 by SGC. Presented is an incredible example of one of baseball-card collecting's most legendary icons: The 1910 T210 Old Mill Tobacco card of Joe Jackson. Every short list of the collecting world's most valuable and important cards features this important extreme rarity. Of additional special note, this T210 Jackson is one of the finest examples in terms of condition of the very few known (and as can easily be seen, displays stronger than its SGC-assigned grade). This extraordinary card has only been offered once before: In 2006, fresh to the modern collecting world, it was consigned along with a substantial T210 collection by the family of its original owner, selling at that time for $116,000. Since that time, in 2009 an SGC VG/EX 50 example (which, like this card, looks even stronger than its technically accurate assigned grade) sold privately for $300,000; and REA sold a spectacular PSA VG+ 3.5 example in 2011 for $199,500 (which is just a half-grade higher than the offered card). This card is, very simply, the finest example to be available at auction at REA (or anywhere else) since the 2011 REA offering. It is, by any measure, one of the finest examples in existence of one of the most important and valuable baseball cards in existence.

The T210 Old Mill Tobacco card of Joe Jackson is one of those cards that anyone who really looks at the history of cards, and understands what has been issued for all players, will appreciate as one of the most fascinating and noteworthy baseball cards ever issued. It is the only tobacco card of Joe Jackson, and one of the very few cards of Jackson ever issued. This card features Jackson as a minor leaguer with New Orleans in 1910. This is not, in fact, Jackson's rookie card, as he appears in the 1909 E90-1 American Caramel series with the Philadelphia Athletics. Jackson played a total of ten games with the A's in 1908 and 1909. He spent the majority of 1909 in the minors and started the 1910 season in New Orleans. Mack traded him to Cleveland in the middle of the 1910 season with the provision that he would not report until his New Orleans season was over. This rare Old Mill card features Jackson in 1910 with New Orleans. The T210 set is comprised of eight different series, each representing a different minor league. With 640 players, it is the largest tobacco set of the twentieth century and is immediately identifiable due to its distinctive red borders. Jackson is part of "Series 8," which features Southern Leaguers, and which happens to be the rarest series of the T210 Old Mill set. Understandably, Joe Jackson is by far the key card in the set. Fewer than twenty Joe Jackson Old Mill cards are known to exist and it is without question one of his rarest and most sought after cards.

As is often the case with these red-bordered cards, there is some wear to the red borders, mostly in the corners. T210s are well known for varying in size and cut, and were often issued with very slightly wavy borders. This example has particularly large and straight borders. The card has a light diagonal crease, which is not particularly distracting but does affect its technical grade. The wear to the edges is very minor, and is far less than normally found with T210s. Extremely well centered, with a bright, clean, crisp image, and strong printing to the advertisement on the reverse. This card features a tremendous photographic image of a young Joe Jackson, looking forward to an exciting Major League career. The contrast and sharp detail in the photo are extraordinary. Every button, every line on his cap, even the detail of the patch on his sleeve is crisp and flawlessly clear. The card is bright and clean, both front and back. This is an extraordinary and extremely attractive example, literally one of the very finest in existence, of one of card collecting's rarest and most desirable cards, featuring the legendary Joe Jackson as a minor leaguer early in his baseball career.  Reserve $100,000. Estimate (open).

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