1910-12 Sporting Life Set (M116)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title M116 Sporting Life
Year 1910-12
Size 1 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
Images Color
Type Publications
Number in Set
287 (400+ in master checklist)

M116 Sporting Life Overview

M116 030 Bresnahan Blue.jpg

The 1910-12 M116 Sporting Life set was listed as having 288 cards in the American Card Catalog. Some of the backs of the cards state there are more than 300 subjects. And to date, the number is somewhere around 400. While not a tobacco or candy card set, I believe there is great future potential for these cards.

The set is almost always listed as a 1910-11 issue as grading companies and publications have stated it as such. However, as newspaper advertisements clearly show, cards were still being distributed into 1912.

It’s no surprise that the exact number of cards in the set is a mystery. A discovery in 2013 brought the total count to 400 cards. But if that’s any indication, it’s quite possible we could see more cards continue to surface in future years. This massive issue is one of the largest sets in the pre-war era.

The cards feature color portrait images of baseball players. The simple look has their name and team printed in the bottom white border. Similar to the rare E103 Williams Caramel cards, only portrait shots are included in the set. Because the cards have a series of blue, green, and yellow backgrounds, they are often referred to as featuring ‘pastel’ colors.

A total of 24 series were initially sold with 12 cards in each, which is where the initial 288 number comes from. However, all checklists I have seen reference only 287 cards.

Later cards with updates were then offered after those. The cards are colorful with full color pictures on the front along with a player’s name and team. There were three different backs printed in the series – one of which advertised more than 300 Sporting Life cards. The cards were originally offered in 24 different series with each series consisting of 12 cards. The series’ were available by mail in exchange for a coupon and four cents per series. Collectors could also by them for nine cents without the coupon.

While these cards are relatively known, new surprises are still cropping up in the form of new variations. Big finds are still happening, too. A massive collection of more than 300 of these cards was found in Philadelphia nearly 100 years after their creation. More than 100 high-grade examples were discovered in 2015. Because this series was so large, additional large finds are still likely to occur as the years go by.

These cards are generally somewhat tough to come by. The prices for them do not seem to be based on the rarity at all as collectors have flocked more to tobacco and candy cards instead.

Note that rarity is also largely dependent upon how many of a particular series was even ordered, similar to things such as the Topps Living Set. Some cards will be tougher to find than others if a particular series was not sent away for as much as others.

Varying Ad Backs and Portrait Backgrounds

Different ad backs are known for this set. One ad back has a crossed bats design in the background and can be found with both blue and black ink. A second utilizes diagonal boxes for ‘Baseball News’ and ‘Sporting Life.’ Finally, a third has two vertical baseball bats on the sides. All advertise the publication for only five cents at all ‘newsdealers’ and emphasize the publication’s focus on baseball news.

Numerous variations exist featuring players with different teams and different backs. Some backs are printed in black ink while others are in blue. In addition, the backgrounds on the fronts behind the players can vary, too. Generally, most have blue backgrounds but some have a pastel background.

Below are the various advertising backs.

M116 Sporting Life Backs

PSA has graded about 6,000 of these cards to date.

Scraps and Proofs

Like some other pre-war sets, proof or scrap cards are known for these as well. These have the same pictures as the regular cards and generally have the same look.

However, they are blank-backed and do not includes the text on the front, indicating the player’s name or team. In addition, they will often have rough cuts and may also be missing certain ink colors (partially or entirely).

The market for these types of cards is generally strong and they usually command significantly more than the regular cards do.

M116 Sporting Life Checklist

This is the standard checklist of the set and does not include all of the variations.

  1. Ed Abbaticchio
  2. Babe Adams
  3. Red Ames
  4. Jimmy Archer
  5. Frank Arrelanes
  6. Tom Atkins
  7. Jimmy Austin
  8. Les Bachman
  9. Bill Bailey
  10. Home Run Baker
  11. Cy Barger
  12. Jack Barry
  13. Johnny Bates
  14. Ginger Beaumont
  15. Fred Beck
  16. Heinie Beckendorf
  17. Fred Beebe
  18. George Bell
  19. Harry Bemis
  20. Chief Bender
  21. Bill Bergen
  22. Heinie Berger
  23. Bob Bescher
  24. Joe Birmingham
  25. Lena Blackburne
  26. John Bliss
  27. Bruno Block
  28. Bill Bradley
  29. Kitty Bransfield
  30. Roger Bresnahan
  31. Al Bridwell
  32. Buster Brown
  33. Mordecai Brown
  34. Al Burch
  35. Donie Bush
  36. Bobby Byrne
  37. Howie Camnitz
  38. Vin Campbell
  39. Bill Carrigan
  40. Frank Chance
  41. Chappy Charles
  42. Hal Chase
  43. Eddie Cicotte
  44. Fred Clarke
  45. Nig Clarke
  46. Tommy Clarke
  47. Ty Cobb
  48. Eddie Collins
  49. Ray Collins
  50. Wid Conroy
  51. Jack Coombs
  52. Frank Corridon
  53. Harry Coveleski
  54. Doc Crandall
  55. Sam Crawford
  56. Birdie Cree
  57. Lou Criger
  58. Dode Criss
  59. Cliff Cutis
  60. Bill Dahlen
  61. Bill Davidson
  62. Harry Davis
  63. Jim Delehanty
  64. Ray Demmitt
  65. Rube Dessau
  66. Art Devlin
  67. Josh Devore
  68. Pat Donahue
  69. Patsy Donovan
  70. Bill Donovan
  71. Red Dooin
  72. Mikey Doolan
  73. Patsy Dougherty
  74. Tom Downey
  75. Jim Doyle
  76. Larry Doyle
  77. Hugh Duffy
  78. Jimmy Dygert
  79. Dick Egan
  80. Kid Elberfeld
  81. Rube Ellis
  82. Clyde Engle
  83. Tex Erwin
  84. Steve Evans
  85. Johnny Evers
  86. Bob Ewing
  87. Cy Falkenberg
  88. George Ferguson
  89. Art Fletcher
  90. Elmer Flick
  91. John Flynn
  92. Russ Ford
  93. Eddie Foster
  94. Bill Foxen
  95. John Frill
  96. Sam Frock
  97. Art Fromme
  98. Earl Gardner
  99. Larry Gardner
  100. Harry Gaspar
  101. Doc Gessler
  102. George Gibson
  103. Bill Graham
  104. Peaches Graham
  105. Eddie Grant
  106. Clark Griffith
  107. Ed Hahn
  108. Charley Hall
  109. Bob Harmon
  110. Topsy Hartsel
  111. Roy Hartzell
  112. Heinie Heitmuller
  113. Buck Herzog
  114. Dick Hoblitzell
  115. Danny Hoffman
  116. Solly Hofman
  117. Harry Hooper
  118. Harry HOwell
  119. Miller Huggins
  120. Tom Hughes
  121. Rudy Hulswitt
  122. John Hummel
  123. George Hunter
  124. Ham Hyatt
  125. Fred Jacklitsch
  126. Hughie Jennings
  127. Walter Johnson
  128. Davy Jones
  129. Tom Jones
  130. Tim Jordan
  131. Addie Joss
  132. Johnny Kane
  133. Ed Karger
  134. Bill Killifer
  135. Johnny Kling
  136. Otto Knabe
  137. John Knight
  138. Ed Konetchy
  139. Harry Krause
  140. Rube Kroh
  141. Art Krueger
  142. Nap Lajoie
  143. Fred Lake
  144. Joe Lake
  145. Frank LaPorte
  146. Jack Lapp
  147. Chick Lathers
  148. Tommy Leach
  149. Sam Leever
  150. Lefty Leifield
  151. Ed Lennox
  152. Fred Linke
  153. Paddy Livingstone
  154. Hans Lobert
  155. Bris Lord
  156. Harry Lord
  157. Johnny Lush
  158. Connie Mack
  159. Tom Madden
  160. Nick Maddox
  161. Sherry Magee
  162. Christy Mathewson
  163. Al Mattern
  164. Jimmy McAleer
  165. George McBride
  166. Amby McConnell
  167. Pryor McElveen
  168. John McGraw
  169. Deacon McGuire
  170. Stuffy McInnis
  171. Harry McIntire
  172. Matty McIntyre
  173. Larry McLean
  174. Tom McMillan
  175. George McQuillan
  176. Paul Meloan
  177. Fred Merkle
  178. Clyde Milan
  179. Dots Miller
  180. Warren Miller
  181. Fred Mitchell
  182. Mike Mitchell
  183. Earl Moore
  184. Pat Moran
  185. Lew Moren
  186. Cy Morgan
  187. George Moriarty
  188. Mike Mowrey
  189. George Mullin
  190. Danny Murphy
  191. Red Murray
  192. Chief Meyers
  193. Tom Needham
  194. Harry Niles
  195. Rebel Oakes
  196. Jack O’Connor
  197. Paddy O’Connor
  198. Bill O’Hara
  199. Rube Oldring
  200. Charley O’Leary
  201. Orval Overall
  202. Fred Parent
  203. Dode Paskert
  204. Fred Payne
  205. Barney Pelty
  206. Hub Pernoll
  207. George Perring
  208. Jeff Pfeffer
  209. Jack Pfiester
  210. Art Phelan
  211. Ed Phelps
  212. Deacon Phillippe
  213. Eddie Plank
  214. Jack Powell
  215. Billy Purtell
  216. Farmer Ray
  217. Bugs Raymond
  218. Doc Reisling
  219. Ed Reulbach
  220. Lew Richie
  221. Jack Rowan
  222. Nap Rucker
  223. Slim Sallee
  224. Doc Scanlon
  225. Germany Schaefer
  226. Lou Schettler
  227. Admiral Schlei
  228. Boss Schmiidt
  229. Wildfire Schulte
  230. Al Schweitzer
  231. Jim Scott
  232. Cy Seymour
  233. Tillie Shafer
  234. Bud Sharpe
  235. Dave Shean
  236. Jimmy Sheckard
  237. Mike Simon
  238. Charlie Smith
  239. Frank Smith
  240. Harry Smith
  241. Fred Snodgrass
  242. Bob Spade
  243. Tully Sparks
  244. Tris Speaker
  245. Jake Stahl
  246. George Stallings
  247. Oscar Stanage
  248. Harry Steinfeldt
  249. Jim Stephens
  250. George Stone
  251. George Stovall
  252. Gabby Street
  253. Sailor Stroud
  254. Amos Strunk
  255. George Suggs
  256. Billy Sullivan
  257. Ed Summers
  258. Bill Sweeney
  259. Jeff Sweeney
  260. Lee Tannehill
  261. Fred Tenney
  262. Ira Thomas
  263. Jack Toney
  264. Joe Tinker
  265. John Titus
  266. Terry Turner
  267. Bob Unglaub
  268. Rube Waddell
  269. Honus Wagner
  270. Heinie Wagner
  271. Bobby Wallace
  272. Ed Walsh
  273. Jimmy Walsh
  274. Doc White
  275. Kaiser Wilhelm
  276. Ed Willett
  277. Vic Willis
  278. Art Wilson
  279. Owen Wilson
  280. Hooks Wiltse
  281. Harry Wolter
  282. Smoky Joe Wood
  283. Ralph Works
  284. Cy Young
  285. Irv Young
  286. Heinie Zimmernman
  287. Dutch Zwilling
  288. TBD

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