1904 W600 Sporting Life Cabinet – Rube Waddell – Street Clothes "Type 3" Variation (PSA Fair 1.5/MK) - The Only PSA Listed "Type 3" W600 Waddell!
Eccentric to say the least, Waddell's lifestyle, while short lived (he died from Tuberculosis at the early age of 37), can be described as somewhat flaky and unstable. Legend has it that he would leave the ball park to chase Fire Engines at the sound of their whistles and performed cartwheels on the playing field. Yet he was good enough over an eleven-year period to win almost 200 games, lead the league in strikeouts six consecutive seasons (including 349 in 1904 that still stands as an A.L. record for a southpaw) and compile a microscopic 2.16 lifetime E.R.A, a figure that bests even the immortal Walter Johnson! Unfortunately, due to his crazy on and off the field habits, Philadelphia A's manager Connie Mack reluctantly traded him to the Browns before the 1908 season.
In 1910, the Browns shipped him back to the minors where Waddell joined the Class "A" Newark Indians of the Eastern League, tallying 5 wins and a stellar 1.76 E.R.A. After several more minor league seasons, Waddell tragically died in 1914 due to the ill effects of tuberculosis, obtained by helping Kentucky flood victims after standing for hours in icy water to place sandbags on a river embankment. His storied career is one of the foremost reasons collectors actively pursue his most treasured artifacts, with only a handful of them possibly equaling the paucity level of this outstanding "PSA Fair 1.5/MK" W600 Cabinet Type 3 Mount of Waddell donning his period-style "street clothes". The illustrious PSA "Pop chart" currently defines this "1 of 1" offering as the SOLE definitive "Type 3" Waddell example with only three other specimens listed for all possible Type related mounts.
The W600 Sporting Life Cabinet Photo-types were issued from 1902 thru 1911 by the Sporting Life weekly newspaper in 5" x 7-1/2" size and are highly desirable for any vintage hobbyist. Most of the subjects reflect sepia toned portrait images of Carl Horner's famous turn of the century photos with the players either street clothes or uniforms, issued in four different "Type" mounts. Most significantly, the central image aesthetics of this obscure collectible are absolutely outstanding, and Rube Waddell never looked better than in his classic portrait pose presented in a pristine-like sepia toned hue. All facial and formal attire details are portrayed with crystal clear clarity, the corners reflect a majority of their original square formations, and no glaring surface blemishes are evident.
Accounting for the "MK" qualifier is a somewhat light "(1902)" penned notation directly beneath the central frame and some faint print marks (most likely from an adjoining scrapbook page) are situated near the lower right edge of the same central frame. Similar to the other W600's in this auction, the verso exhibits glue remnants from scrapbook removal, none of which protrude to the front side. It is clearly evident that the overall aesthetics of this Waddell cardboard rarity far surpass its technical assessment, with its sheer existence, breathtaking central pose and extremely low "pop" placing it as one of "Rube's" most coveted cardboard keepsakes!
MIN BID $800