June 2018 Auction
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Hanging in the Mile High Card Company office are four framed replicas of Old Judge cabinets cards; King Kelly, Ed Delahanty, Jim O'Rourke, and directly in front of me, Cap Anson. So when we got the call about an 1888-89 Old Judge N173 Cap Anson cabinet card, I couldn't help but say, "Sure, I know exactly what it looks like" and proceeded to describe the card and Anson's attire in great detail. Of course, I wouldn't have been able to do that without the help since few people, even advanced collectors, have ever seen one of these much less owned one. Certainly not this well-preserved as the offered SGC 60 EX 5 example is tied with 2 others as the highest of 18 graded specimens on record at SGC. PSA has graded but one lone example, and it could only muster an AUTHENTIC designation, making this quite possibly the finest piece in existence. A larger-than-life figure of great talents and great faults, Cap Anson managed the White Stockings to five pennants and set all the batting records that men such as Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth later broke. Anson was the second manager (after Harry Wright) to win 1,000 games and the first player to stroke 3,000 hits (though his exact total varies from one source to another). Although he retired from active play in 1897, he is still the all-time leader in hits, runs scored, doubles, and runs batted in for the Chicago franchise. The tremendous size of the piece is likely enough to get any collector's motor running, much like the T3 Turkey Red series that followed decades later. And like many other issues that have dwindled down to just a handful of known specimens, the N173 Old Judge cabinet card was only distributed through the mail. Sporting the more difficult pink border, the piece is perfectly centered with only minor discolorations to the surface and corners and edges that show no more than light to moderate touches of wear. The image of Anson borders on the sublime, with a sharp black and white portrait putting the colorized replica on my wall to shame. There are plenty of higher priced cards out there, but from a purely nostalgic standpoint, how could true baseball historian not want to make an aggressive run at this?
1888-89 Old Judge N173 Cap Anson Cabinet SGC 60 EX 51888-89 Old Judge N173 Cap Anson Cabinet SGC 60 EX 5
1888-89 Old Judge N173 Cap Anson Cabinet SGC 60 EX 5
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Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Current Bid: $8,054.00
Number Bids: 6
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