1906 W601 Sporting Life Detroit Tigers Team Composite with Ty Cobb

Sold For: $3,000

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 112

Item Year: 1906

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Exceptionally attractive 1906 Detroit Tigers W601 Sporting Life team composite featuring an extremely early image of Ty Cobb. These Sporting Life team composites (13 x 14 inches), printed on heavy enamel paper and issued by the Sporting Life newspaper, were available to fans either by individual purchase (for ten cents) or as a complete set in a bound volume. The offered piece originates from a bound volume, as it displays three small notebook holes along the left border. The 1905 Detroit Tigers team composite featuring Cobb is considered by many to be one of the earliest images in existence of Cobb as a member of the Tigers and one that predates his rookie card by one or two years (Cobb's true rookie card is often debated by collectors, but all of the candidates that are considered traditional cards were issued after 1905). However, this 1906 composite, issued just one year later, features the exact same image of Cobb (who made his debut on August 30, 1905, at the age of eighteen) that appears on the 1905 W601 Sporting Life composite. Being a larger-format issue, the W601 Sporting Life team composite is not defined as a traditional card by most collectors, but all would agree that these two composites represent two of the earliest promotional issues featuring the legendary "Georgia Peach." In addition to Cobb, the remaining eighteen team members pictured here include Sam Crawford, William Armour (Mgr.), Wild Bill Donovan, Germany Schaefer, Bobby Lowe, George Mullin, and Matty McIntyre. Aside from the aforementioned notebook holes along the left border (as issued), the piece displays light corner and edge wear, as well as a tiny area of red discoloration along the base. It has been matted by means of two small pieces of tape on its reverse. In Excellent condition overall, but presenting as Near Mint when matted. An extremely impressive display piece, highlighted by a very young Ty Cobb. Total dimensions: 14 x 15. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+.

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