Summer Premier Auction 2020

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/28/2020

A historic card “find” is music to the hobby’s collective ears. Almost every time, these antique discoveries involve late 19th to early 20th century cardboard issues found in packs of cigars, cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Some recent examples include the “Lucky 7 Find” in 2016 and SCP Auctions’ very own “Chesapeake Find” in 2014, which introduced some fresh T206 monsters into the market. Candy card finds, however, are fewer and far between. In late June, we announced our featured “Yahtzee Box Find”, an astounding discovery of 400+ cards from early 1900’s packages of candy bars and caramels that spent decades tucked away in an old Yahtzee game box. Not since the “Black Swamp Find” of 2012 has there been a candy card find of such historical significance. In terms of scarcity and dollar potential, though, this one sets the bar—pun intended.

The highlight is a special group of eight cards from the nearly extinct 1914 E224 Texas Tommy series led by Joe Jackson (PSA GD+ 2.5) and Ty Cobb (PSA PR 1). Only one Shoeless Joe Texas Tommy has ever been authenticated by any grading company. But that card (a PSA VG-EX 4) has yet to surface, making this example the first one ever offered. Ty Cobb is even scarcer. Neither PSA nor SGC has ever graded one, making it the only known Texas Tommy Ty Cobb, period. Both were recently graded by PSA to stake their claim as the rarest known Shoeless Joe and Ty Cobb cards in existence. A Walter Johnson, Frank Chance proof, and four others—including Larry Doyle and Stuffy McGinnis—round out this “Elite Eight.”

Population: Little is known about the Texas Tommy brand. A candy bar made by the Cardinet Candy Co. in Oakland, CA, its name was adopted from a local swing-style dance known to San Franciscans as the “Texas Tommy.” Calling this set rare is a major understatement. There is said to be 66 in the so-called checklist, with 54 in the Type 1 category—bios on back—and 12 classified as Type 2—blank backs. Prior to this discovery, a grand total of 68 cards had ever been encapsulated (32 by PSA and 36 by SGC). The eight additions (7 PSA graded) from the Yahtzee Box Find now account for 11% of the entire known supply. In the PSA Pop Report, there are still just 23 different players from Type 1 and seven from Type 2 accounted for, with most having only one graded example. SGC’s Pop Report is even more sparse, showing just 21 players from Type 1 and five from Type 2.

Condition: The PSA GD+ 2.5 decision of this Joe Jackson artifact seems quite harsh in our eyes, especially with only one other example to cross-reference and the fact that VG-EX 4 is the highest grade PSA has ever given to a Texas Tommy. The edges are cut very straight, the corners are slightly rounded and the off-white background is very clean and smooth-looking, making the striking action image of Jackson tracking a fly ball stand out divinely. There are no major creases or distracting surface issues on the front or back. Spider wrinkles are visible up close along the perimeter, most noticeable at the top right corner, bottom left corner, mid-right side and upper left side. The two on the front left side somewhat come through on the back right side. Jackson's bio and incredible batting statistics from 1910-13 with the Cleveland Naps on the back are done in sharp brown print that remains very sharp and clean, with just a tiny spot of toning/dirt on the upper left showing ever-so-faintly. The condition of this card appears at least as good as a 1910 Old Mill Joe Jackson graded SGC VG+ 3.5 that sold for $492,000 this past May.

Evaluation: What will it take to own this behemoth? A 1910 T210 Old Mill Joe Jackson PSA VG+ 3.5 sold for $600,000 last year, but it is far more common with 16 graded examples (9 from PSA and 7 from SGC) than Shoeless Joe’s Texas Tommy. There is no comparison when it comes to Ty Cobb. His 1909-11 T206 Red Portrait with Ty Cobb back—widely considered the Georgia Peach’s toughest and most coveted card—has 24 graded examples between PSA and SGC; and a PSA VG+ 3.5 (Lucky 7 Find) sold for $408,000 in 2018. Based on these reference points, it’s hard to imagine each card not surpassing the six-figure mark with ease.

Provenance: The consignor is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently resides in Southern California. His great-grandfather, long ago deceased, also grew up in Northern California and built the entire collection from scratch as an enthusiastic kid rooting for Pacific Coast League stars; therefore, the majority hail from the popular Zee-Nut PCL series beginning in 1911. Zee-Nut candy, made by California’s Collins-McCarthy Candy Co., was a mixture of popcorn, peanuts and coconuts, similar to Cracker Jack. Too young to get T205’s and T206’s from tobacco packs, he pulled his favorite San Francisco Seals and Oakland Oaks players from candy packages to indulge his sweet tooth instead. Notable Zee-Nut pulls (each PSA graded) include a pair of 1911 Buck Weaver cards (of “Black Sox” notoriety), the highest graded 1917 Frank Chance (his final career card), and just the second 1922 Tony Lazzeri true rookie to be encapsulated by PSA.

After indulging in a couple noteworthy Texas Tommy candy bars, the young man’s palette would eventually lead him to a Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth from the 1922 American Caramel E121 set, among others. For whatever reason, the collection came to a screeching halt by the end of the Roaring Twenties, perhaps brought on by the Great Depression or because the man—now an adult—had outgrown his hobby and sugar cravings. The cards were later handed down to the man’s son who stored them loosely inside the vintage Milton Bradley game box in his closet for dozens of years before eventually giving them to his loving grandson—who cared for him up until his death. Four generations and a century later, our middle-aged consignor has decided to cash in his chips.

The other 430 cards in the collection are listed in Lots 13-32. As little bonus, we will include the Yahtzee box with whichever lot receives the highest bid.

For more on the Yahtzee Box Find, check out this article from Sports Collectors Daily: https://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/yahtzee-1914-texas-tommy-find-includes-cobb-jackson/

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $128,617
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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