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Description1903 Breisch-Williams E107 Christy Mathewson SGC 30 Good 2. "He was an inspiration to everybody and may we have more of his kind," spoke a doleful Kenesaw Mountain Landis at the 1925 memorial service for the future posthumous Hall of Fame inductee. "His sense of justice, his integrity, and sportsmanship made him far greater than Christy Mathewson the pitcher." Though baseball's first Commissioner had been recruited by Major League Baseball to ferret out its worst in the midst of the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Landis was able to recognize the game's best as well, properly honoring this shimmering diamond in the Dead Ball Era rough. It was a sentiment shared by essentially every player, teammate or adversary, which ever encountered Big Six on the playing field.
The presented unassuming slab of cardboard could be similarly praised, rating as one of the most desirable rarities in the trading card collecting hobby. While we cannot state definitively the precise population of surviving examples, it is telling that just four have ever passed through the grading services of PSA or SGC, making even the famed Honus Wagner card seem downright common by comparison.
The card serves as a defining moment in the hobby, due perhaps most notably to the fact that the E107 Breisch-Williams issue is widely considered to be the first major baseball set of the twentieth century. Mathewson serves not only as its most desirable and elusive component, but also makes his appearance here with the all-important rookie designation. One could count on a single hand the Hall of Fame rookies which compete with the Breisch-Williams Mathewson for rarity, and this represents just the second auction block appearance of a specimen in the past dozen years, according to our comprehensive database. It is likewise the superior representation.
The assigned grade of SGC 30 Good 2 belies the card's enormous eye appeal, which provides the visuals of an example two levels higher except upon the closest of inspection. Magnification indicates a mild degree of surface scratching to account for the SGC assessment, though we must stress again that the fine registration, minimal eastward centering shift and lack of significant corner wear are far more typical of a VG-EX card. Truthfully, the tremendous scarcity of this special offering should dismiss petty condition concerns anyhow. It's entirely possible that the opportunity to own another will never arise.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas