Got arguably my rarest card in my collection in the mail today. It's of one of my favorite all-time Red Sox players, Forrest "Hick" Cady. Forrest Cady was a backup catcher for several seasons for the Red Sox, who played on 3 of their World Championship teams. He was the preferred catcher of the great Smokey Joe Wood, and was said to be one of the only catchers who could throw out the legendary Ty Cobb.
I'll show the scans then tell a little bit about the set:
(Love the pose, and also how stiff he looks lol)
(Lawrence, MA! Not really close to where I lived - hour fifteen mins away - but it's really cool to own a card with an ad back for a MA company. The interesting part of this ad is that you only had to 'show' that you owned 50 of these cards, most promotions like that back in the day required that you actually mailed them in. So keep on the lookout for 49 more because I could use a new jump rope! )
(My M101-4/5 collection so far....absolutely love these, always looking for more. Hilarious how strikingly similar the Gardner and Lewis poses are)
(Cady PC......really wish he was in more sets!!! If only he played in the majors a year or two earlier....)
So a little background on the set, bear with me I'm still researching the set as well. Apparently a Chicago based publisher named Felix Mendelsohn printed and distributed sets and sheets of M101-4 and M101-5 (all had blank backs) through the Chicago Examiner in 1916 to the public, M101-5 was printed first and M101-4 a couple months later - both have similar checklists, but there are some additions/subtractions to each. Mendelsohn sold a large amount of sets to varying businesses who then used the cards as promotional items with their company name/logo/promos,etc. on the backs. Most of the companies only used a portion of the players in their sets, and quite a few using players from both the M101-4 and M101-5 sets. The rarity of some of these company backs vary on how they were distributed. The more common ad backs are: The Sporting News (distributed by a national newspaper), Famous & Barr (clothes store), and Weil Baking. My Morehouse Baking example is extremely tough to find, by looking at pop reports on SGC/PSA - SGC has graded 49 TOTAL [all players] and PSA has graded only 26 TOTAL [all players] - My Cady being the only one graded by either company. Even if you triple up those graded numbers, you still only get slightly over 200 total, and this is from a company who was 1 of 2 companies who used the entire checklist from the M101-4/5 sets. And yet, there are still a handful of ad backs that are more rare than Morehouse, with less than 50 total examples known (Mall Theatre being one of them). If you guys are interested in the scarcity of these ad backs, check out this LINK with some solid research on the set.
So yeah, now that I've bored you all I guess the skinny of it is that I really like this set....the photos on these cards are incredible, and some really great players, tons of HOFers - Babe Ruths RC, and I like how they have the position listed on the card too. I think an ad back run would be insanely cool, but might actually be impossible to do.
Anyways thanks for looking and letting me ramble a bit, I get excited with these 100 year old cards if you couldn't tell.
@jay1065 - who lives a stones throw away from Lawrence, MA