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  #1  
Old 10-22-2019, 07:44 PM
slightlyrounded slightlyrounded is offline
Aaron
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Default Working theory: Murad T51 ’number-on-front’ variations

After a looong time looking, thrilled to finally have the Williams College ‘number-on-front’ (NOF) variation in my hands, in any condition. While the base T51 set has been relatively easy to put together, the 25 NOF cards have been much tougher for me. The Wiliams NOF variation is widely considered to be the first first basketball card produced and relevant because the Williams Ephs were arguably the top team in the country at the time of issuance (according to the Premo-Porretta_Power_Poll). This variation has a current PSA pop of only 2 but likely is only a tiny fraction of the overall ungraded population.



Even though there seems to be a general consensus that the NOF variations pre-dated the non-numbered issues, I haven’t see much mention as to why - I think the answer lies in the T6 redemption coupons that were included with each Murad cigarette pack:



My theory is the 'premium’ coupons (as well as the backs of the T6 cabinet cards themselves) were mistakenly printed with alphabetical numbering that differed from the actual T51 card-fronts themselves. So, the Williams T51 card reads #14 but the coupon has Williams College at #24. Because the coupon specifically requests the redeemer to “Write plainly your name and address, and order picture desired by number….” its safe to say that some collectors would have used the numbers on the coupon while others would have made their college request based off the T51 numbering. The resulting headache/confusion let to the small numbering being knocked of the printing plates mid run and the subsequent 1-25 series (First Edition) were printed as the more common “no-number” variety.

So that’s my case - Would love to hear other theories. Finally - realizing this is a baseball card forum, here’s some relevant red meat in a few variations:

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  #2  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:12 PM
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swarmee swarmee is offline
J0hn Raff3rty
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Hmm; it's possible. I figured with the 1911 date on those coupons to redeem for the T6s, those would have been inserted in packs more around the time of the 2nd edition printing.
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2019, 02:02 AM
slightlyrounded slightlyrounded is offline
Aaron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
Hmm; it's possible. I figured with the 1911 date on those coupons to redeem for the T6s, those would have been inserted in packs more around the time of the 2nd edition printing.
I've always been under the impression that T6 and T51 were issued concurrently. We know for example that the T6's came out in mid-1910 since an earlier version of the redemption coupon exists:



(a bit blurry but states at bottom College series will be ready to mail on June 1st, 1910)

If you look at other ATC coupons that share that same expiry date, there is pretty clear evidence that all were being produced no later than early 1910. For instance with the T3 premiums, here's a Turkey Red coupon:



And a Fez:



What I'm less sure of is the T51 timing - would love to see some evidence they were being issued in 1909 as commonly suggested. If they were, maybe the NOF variations were standard prior to the redemption coupons being included in cigarette packs; Then, when the T6 offer started, ATC decided to scrap the original numbering system and removed these from the T51 printing plates?
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:43 AM
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swarmee swarmee is offline
J0hn Raff3rty
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It's a plausible explanation. I think the 1909 date comes from their similarity with the T206 and T205 issues.
__________________
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PWCC: The Fish Stinks From the Head
PSA: Regularly Get Cheated
BGS: Can't detect trimming on modern
SGC: Closed auto authentication business
JSA: Approved same T206 Autos before SGC
Oh, what a difference a year makes.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:01 AM
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conor912 conor912 is offline
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I don’t have a whole lot to offer to the theory, but wanted to chime in with some love for Murads. Some of the most visually appealing and under rated cards in the hobby, IMO.
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