Lot # 20: 1916 M101-5 Blank Back “Fresh to the Hobby” Near-Set w/174 SGC Graded Cards – 3.76 G.P.A. w/19 Hall of Famers!

Category: Baseball

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 9 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall Sets & Set Break 2021 Auction",
which ran from 11/13/2021 12:00 PM to
12/4/2021 7:00 PM




(LOT 20)
1916 M101-5 Blank Back "Fresh to the Hobby" Near-Set w/174 SGC Graded Cards – 3.76 G.P.A. w/19 Hall of Famers!
As stated in our catalog "Lead-In" description, the recently unearthed 193-card 1916 M101-5 Blank Back near-set stands as a truly momentous find. A complete M101-5 "Master Set" totals 203 subjects ("Basic Set" is 200 cards), with the multiple checklist numbers 12, 23 and 186 including three extremely rare short prints (Becker, Cady & Wallace). The first 19 lots of this auction (commencing w/Ruth, Thorpe & Jackson) represent subjects removed from the original 193 card near-set to be sold as separate lots and include 13 HOFs. The remaining 174 cards are being sold in this particular lot as a "near-set", and still retain a whopping 19 Hall of Famers (of which Rixey, Jr. & Faber are true rookie cards). Additionally, a number of scarce and/or desirable "commons" include: Adams (#1); Archer (#6); Chapman (#29); Cook (#37); Coombs, J. (#38); Marsans (#111); and Zwilling (#200). The SGC technical assessments for the 174 subjects total to a formidable 3.76 G.P.A. with a summary of the grades as follows: 5.5 EX+ (3); 5 EX (42); 4.5 VG-EX+ (12); 4 VG-EX (57); 3.5 VG+ (8); 3 VG (21); 2.5 Good+ (2); 2 Good (16); 1.5 Fair (10); 1 Poor (2); Authentic (1). For your convenience, we have included a comprehensive chart that lists all 174 subjects and their respective SGC grades in checklist # order, with all 19 Hall of Famers highlighted/italicized.

The history of the M101-5 set can be traced back to the Spring of 1916 when the Felix Mendelsohn Chicago Publishing Co. began advertising "blank backed" baseball player cards in the Sporting News periodical, with an initial total of 200 subjects. A true landmark set, it was the first "mainstream" Nationally distributed issues whereby black & white images taken from real-action player photos were utilized for virtually every subject as a viable promotional tool, as opposed to the colorful lithographic images previously affixed to tobacco and candy cards. It was the original intent of the Felix Mendelsohn company to utilize in-action poses as an "eye-catching" advertising angle to captivate their prospective customers. Furthermore, the M101-5 issue piggybacked off the illustrious 1914 & '15 Cracker Jack sets' concept of placing checklist numbers on all of the subjects, with the M101-5 basic set numbered 1 - 200. As the year evolved, these blank back cards, more specifically known to collectors as M101-5, were utilized by other companies as a form of advertisement for their various brands with roughly 18 different ad-backs known to exist. Several of those brands are likewise considered M101-5 and they include Holmes to Homes, Famous & Barr, Standard Biscuit, Successful Farming and Morehouse Baking. Most significantly, the M101-5 set serves as a transient link and/or "stepping stone" for many of our National Pastime's "turn of the century" stars in the twilight of their careers (Wagner, Lajoie, Walsh, Tinker, Evers, Tinker, Evers, Chance, Bresnahan, Brown, Jennings, Crawford, etc.), who passed the baton to a new regime of legends that would continue their playing brilliance into the 1920s (Ruth, Sisler, Stengel, Jackson, Alexander, etc.).

The 1916 M101-5 issue stands as one of the most underrated sets of the era, given its myriad of Cooperstown Inductees, many rarities, inaugural in-action photos, and overall collectability. Often misconstrued to be rather common, many of the M101-5 set's players prove more challenging than collectors realize, with a number of subjects exhibiting very low population counts in the single digits. Considering it would take even the most sophisticated enthusiast years to compile a complete M101-5 compilation, here is a golden opportunity to capture the lion share via this colossal 174-card offering. The enthralling images set the tone of literally holding a tangible piece of history (unlike the typical lithographic cards of the past), and it was the first mainstream attempt to utilize in-action "real" photos since the 19th century Old Judge tobacco cards. It takes steadfast dedication and determination to complete this set, and once again, our utmost compliments to the consignor's family for preserving these cards in aesthetically pleasing condition over the past century. Led by the exalted Babe Ruth Rookie, M101 subjects possess an unlimited upside, with this outstanding offering representing a true "tipping point" for collectors to jump in now before the undervalued pricing soars to an unprecedented level!

MIN BID $5,000
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