This high-grade Delahanty is arguably the nicest N300 Mayo’s Cut Plug example featuring the Hall of Famer that the auction house has ever seen. It is stellar with very mild wear at the upper right corner, barely noticeable on a card which contains those unforgiving black borders. Other than light chipping along the right edge, which appears factory fresh, the reverse is near perfect.
Known as the Black Beauties, the Mayos were inserted as premium in plug tobacco, and are usually replete with stains. However, this example does not have any of the pesky tobacco stains, which commonly downgrade the N300s.
“Any example of the Mayo Cut Plug in an acceptable grade as a type is difficult enough to obtain,” noted Louis Bollman, RR Auction’s sports collectibles expert, “but to have a HOF’r of Delahanty’s stature, plus one of the highest grades possible for any a card in that issue, is a rarity.”
The card features a tremendous image of a dapper Delahanty, whose hitting and fielding prowess mesmerized 19th century baseball fans. He was the first “five-tool” player in baseball history. This is a stellar example, which would not look out of place in a PSA NM 7 holder.
“This is the highest graded PSA example extant, with only four cards within the entire N300 set (over 500 graded examples!) which have graded higher than this Delahanty,” Bollman said.