1907 W601 Sporting Life “Base Ball Champions” Team Composites Complete Set (22) - Housed in its Original Portfolio!

Sold For: $5,100

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 117

Item Year: 1907

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Complete set of 1907 W601 Sporting Life team composites housed in its original portfolio. These Sporting Life team composites (13 x 14 inches), which are printed on heavy enamel paper, were available to fans either by individual purchase (for ten cents) or as a complete set in a bound volume. While we have seen many individual W601 team composites (varying years) originating from bound volumes, this is the first complete set we have ever offered still housed in its original portfolio. The red, soft-cover, album features an image of a player in a throwing pose on the front cover, which is titled "Sporting Life's Portfolio of Base Ball Players for 1907." The text on the cover also makes note that the album includes all sixteen major league clubs, plus championship minor-league clubs as well. As one would expect, numerous Hall of Fame players are featured within the major-league team composites, including Christy Mathewson, Ed Walsh, Jack Chesbro, Willie Keeler, Nap Lajoie, Addie Joss, Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell, Chief Bender, Connie Mack, Branch Rickey (as a catcher for the St. Louis Browns), Bobby Wallace, Ty Cobb (extremely early image of Cobb; second season in the majors), Sam Crawford, Cy Young, Jimmy Collins, Mordecai Brown, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker, Frank Chance, Joe McGinnity, John McGraw, Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Hugh Duffy, Joe Kelley, Miller Huggins, and Jake Beckley. The six minor-league composites featured in the album are those of Buffalo (Eastern League Champions, with manager George Stallings), Columbus (American Association Champions), Birmingham (Southern League Champions), Scranton (New York State League Champions), Grand Rapids (Central League Champions), and Norwich (Connecticut League Champions). The album (13.25 x 14.25 inches) displays a large tear (paper loss) along the right border of the front cover, which also affects the first four team composites (Chicago, New York, Cleveland, and Chicago of the American League). Light water staining is evident along the base of both covers and each individual page. Minor bleeding from the front cover affects the first (Chicago, American League) and last (Norwich) team composites. Light rippling also affects the entire album. Complete as issued, with the original binding string. Although technically in Good condition, the majority of the major league composites are free of any significant flaws and present as Excellent. This is a rare offering and one of only a small number of complete W601 Sporting Life portfolios we have ever seen. As a point of reference, REA offered just the Detroit Tigers composite from this album in our May 2015 auction (Lot 112), where it realized a final sale price of $2,040. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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