Lot # 44: 1887 Old Judge Cigarettes N172 Mike “King” Kelly Portrait - “254-1; Portrait in Cap, “Chicago” on Shirt” (SGC 30/2)

Price: $3,500.00

Status: Available

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1887 Old Judge Cigarettes N172 Mike “King” Kelly Portrait - “254-1; Portrait in Cap, “Chicago” on Shirt” (SGC 30/2) One of Mike “King” Kelly’s rarest N172 Old Judge poses is his “Portrait in cap, Chicago on Shirt 254-1” image as presented in the iconic Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company publication. Seldom, does this variation surface for the taking, substantiating why this stellar SGC 30/2 Kelly offering is highly coveted by elite 19th century enthusiasts. While SGC does not distinguish between the 11 possible Kelly Old Judge poses in their census report, PSA’s “Pop” chart lists only a single copy of this obscure pose. Hall of Famer catcher Mike “King” Kelly was one of the first catchers to give the pitcher finger signals, is credited by many for perfecting the “hit and run”, and compiled a superb .308 lifetime batting average. . Players and fans adored him as he lived life in the “fast lane”, may have been baseball’s best-dressed player, and on several occasions appeared on stage to recite the famous “Casey at the Bat”. His classic portrait image depicts atypical fine contrast (many N172’s are extremely light), with the illustration slightly favoring the right edge. While a modest soiling spot appears near the central right border, no glaring flaws are evident on the obverse side. Uniform corner wear and some staining near the blank back’s lower edge account for the grade, yet as most hobbyists would attest to, the fine central image aesthetics and sheer “right to own a copy” far surpass the significance of any technical assessment!


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