Lot # 43: 1887 Old Judge Cigarettes N172 Mike “King’ Kelly - “254-4; Bat at Ready at 45 Degrees, L/handed” (SGC 55/4.5)

Price: $4,900.00

Status: Available


1887 Old Judge Cigarettes N172 Mike “King’ Kelly - “254-4; Bat at Ready at 45 Degrees, L/handed” (SGC 55/4.5) - Only SGC 55/4.5 Example for ALL Poses! One of the most popular 1887 Old Judge N172 players is Hall of Famer Mike “King” Kelly and presented here is his outstanding SGC 55/4.5 “254-4; Bat at Ready at 45 Degrees, L/handed” pose as presented in the iconic Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company publication. While SGC does not distinguish between the 11 possible Kelly Old Judge poses in their census report, this specimen suffices as the SOLE SGC 4.5 example for any pose! Simply stated, mid-grade Old Judge cards seldom surface for the taking, especially when they represent one of baseball’s immortal 19th century Cooperstown inductees. Owner of a .308 lifetime batting average, Kelly was one of the first catchers to give the pitcher finger signals, and is credited by many for perfecting the “hit and run”. He just may have been baseball’s best dressed player, and on several occasions appeared on stage to recite the famous “Casey at the Bat”. His Old Judge Cigarette example presented here reflects fine sepia toned contrast, highlighted by a crystal clear “Chicago” uniform and fine print registration. No major surface blemishes are evident, with the eye pleasing even corner wear accounting for the grade. As a final exclamation point, the ultra-popular “$10,000 Kelly” bold white text was affixed to the card because Chicago sold Kelly to Boston for that staggering sum in February 1887; arguably considered the most famous transaction in 19th century baseball. In closing, anyone can see that this seemingly miraculous N172 Kelly offering has stubbornly defied “father-time” for the past 129 years, meriting it the highest hobby accolades from any elite Old Judge collector!

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