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1914 baseball card set sold for record $800,000
November 30, 2004
WILLOWBROOK, Ill. (AP) -- A complete set of 1914 Cracker Jack baseball cards featuring ``Shoeless'' Joe Jackson and Ty Cobb has been sold for a record $800,000.
The cards did not have the usual caramel stains found on many Cracker Jack cards and were in pristine condition, said Doug Allen, president of MastroNet Inc., an auction house in this Chicago suburb. He said the previous record for a complete set of baseball cards was $360,000.
``Condition and rarity are what make high-grade cards, and this particular collection was fortunate to have both,'' Allen said earlier this week.
The New York woman -- who along with the buyer asked to remain anonymous -- found the 144-card set with 2,500 other baseball cards in a shoe box in her home. The cards originally belonged to her uncle, who died during World War II, and the woman's father kept them until his death last year, Allen said.
The set includes a rare Christy Mathewson card that looks ``like it was printed yesterday,'' Allen said.
Sportscard Guaranty, which evaluated the cards for authenticity and quality, called the set ``monumental.''
``It's hard to find words that would do this set justice,'' Sportscard president Dave Forman said in a statement on the company's Web site. ``The Joe Jackson card ... is the finest prewar card our firm has ever graded. In my opinion, it is the best prewar card in existence period.''
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