1888 Goodwin Champions N162 Mike “King” Kelly (PSA 6) - “1 of 4”; Only 7 Graded Higher!In 1888, Goodwin & Company issued a stunning 50-card set to compete with the 1887 N28 Allen & Ginter and N172 Old Judge sets. These exquisite cards were distributed in packs of Gypsy Queen and Old Judge cigarettes and included eight baseball players as well as other popular sports athletes of the day including football, cyclists, tennis, chess, etc. One of the set’s most actively sought after and valuable subjects is the immortal 19th century Hall of Famer, Mike “King” Kelly, presented here in a stunning PSA 6 holder. Its “rare for the grade” stature is substantiated by the fact that PSA has only encapsulated 3 other specimens at this plateau with only 7 graded higher! The Goodwin Champion cards are ultra popular with vintage enthusiasts most likely due to their brilliant assortment of color patterns, with most other 19th century cards and cabinets depicted in either Sepia toned or black & white cardboard. The offered example, Hall of Famer Mike “King” Kelly, is one of the most desirable 19th century Hall of Famers for avid enthusiasts. Immensely popular, Kelly, owns of a .308 lifetime batting average, was one of the first catchers to give the pitcher finger signals, and is credited by many for perfecting the “hit and run”. Players and fans adored him as he lived his 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”. Coincidently, this 1888 N162 Goodwin Champion offering is likewise a monumental “hit”. Kelly’s superb lithographic portrait pose including his classic thick mustache, is virtually un-improvable, set against a robust blue and yellow toned background with the image extremely well-centered between four clean white borders. The Old Judge/Gypsy Queen bottom situated advertisement is vividly registered, and the verso, while moderately toned, reflects a bold black checklist. Considering that this card is rapidly approaching its 130th birthday, it is unfathomable to think that its overall condition could possibly equal its present state. Recently, a PSA 7 sold for over $20,000 in our summer auction, justifying why this outstanding PSA 6 “King” Kelly offering stands as an absolute bargain at the requested price tag!