Famous and Barr Jim Thorpe

1916 Famous & Barr Thorpe Front

Produced by Felix Mendelsohn and featuring back advertising from a number of different businesses, the M101-4 and M101-5 cards of 1916 are experiencing explosive growth in popularity as collectors begin seeking out different prewar issues with a variety of back advertisements.  The Famous and Barr stores are among the more popular of the different backs, due in part to their overall scarcity but plentiful nature in relation to many of the other M101 backs.  

This example, featuring the immensely popular athlete Jim Thorpe, is one of the set’s key cards and one that does not make itself available very often in any back variety.  Nicknamed the “World’s Greatest Athlete,” Thorpe won gold medals in the 1912 Olympics, and played professional football, baseball, and basketball.  Thorpe played parts of six seasons with the Giants, Reds, and Braves, neither distinguishing himself nor hurting his reputation as one of America’s great athletes.  His greatest baseball achievement was an anecdotal one; in a semipro game on the Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas border, Thorpe hit three home runs into three different states!  

As a football player, Thorpe played 52 professional games, passing for four touchdowns and running for six more.  He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, and routinely appears on lists of the country’s greatest athletes.

This example, graded GOOD 2 (MK) by PSA, is generally attractive, with mild creasing across the bottom of the card.  A visible surface stain does not detract significantly fron the image, and some pencil writing on the reverse noting Thorpe’s retirement is responsible for the qualifier assigned by PSA. 

An exceptional card, one of the issue’s keys, which does not often make itself available for sale.


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