The 1910 E104 Nadja is one of the rarest caramel issues. With three subsets, there are about 70 known cards in the set.
A new one has recently found its way onto the checklist.
In May 2018, collector Jon Gudorf contacted me regarding a card he had in his collection for some time – a Fred Tenney E104-3. The E104-3 set is the third of the three aforementioned subsets of Nadjas and easily the largest. The first two subsets were team issues for the Philadelphia Athletics (E104-1) and Pittsburgh Pirates (E104-2). The third is a larger hodgepodge of miscellaneous players for various teams. The issue is similar to the E90 American Caramel series, which also consisted of two team subsets (E90-2 and E90-3) and a larger, more inclusive subset (E90-1) covering players from many teams.
The cards in any of the three subsets are rare, though E104-1 cards are a bit more populous. Because only a handful exist for many players in the sets, finding new recent additions to the checklist, while rare, is not unprecedented. Some cards have only been known to the hobby for a short time and the newest addition is this card of Tenney.
Tenney is not a Hall of Famer but was a highly-regarded player. He was a .294 hitter that batted over .300 seven times in a 17-year career. As a rookie with the Boston Beaneaters in 1894, he hit .395 in a limited 100 plate appearances. He proved the short season wasn’t a fluke as he batted over .300 regularly after that, including .347 in 1899. Tenney played most of his career with Boston but played a couple of seasons (1908 and 1909) with the New York Giants. His 101 runs scored with the Giants in 1908 were a league best and Tenney was also regarded as one of the best defensive first basemen of his era.
Jon recently shared some brief insights on his card and its history. “I bought the card at a show back in the 80s in St Louis from a reputable dealer,” he recounted. “I have always found it an intriguing part of our collection.” He had it graded by Beckett and it received a grade of 1.0, helping to confirm its authenticity.
The Tenney card is in rougher condition, obviously, but still a highly desirable card. As of now, it is the only known copy in the hobby. While others could certainly be out there, the card has not been previously checklisted.
Jon owns a large collection and he plans to hold onto the card for now, possibly having it graded.