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Lot # 654 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1894 Alpha Photo-Engraving "Kid" Gleason

Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $16,240.00

Graded GOOD 30 by SGC. Presented is a sample from one of card collecting's rarest sets: the legendary 1894 Alpha Photo-Engraving. This set features the 1894 Baltimore Orioles, then Champions of the World and one of the greatest teams to ever take the field, with each player pictured in formal attire. Only fourteen cards from this extraordinary issue are known to exist. All fourteen known cards are different. Each of these cards, including the offered Alpha of future 1919 "Black Sox" manager William "Kid" Gleason, is the only example known. Few sets from any era rival the 1894 Alpha Photo-Engraving set in terms of rarity, mystique, and significance. This set is one of the few issued during the 1890s, includes the earliest issued cards for many important players, and features one of the greatest teams in the history of the game. In addition to their distinctive and very classic look, they are also in their own league as far as rarity. Alpha Photo-Engraving cards have long been recognized as simply impossible to obtain. All fourteen known cards have been owned for many years by one very advanced collector who had no plans to sell, but a recent offer he couldn't refuse has resulted in the sale of the Alphas, which in turn has resulted in the offering of this example. This is the first Alpha Photo-Engraving card to be available at auction since all fourteen known examples were sold at auction as a single lot at Sotheby's in 1992. Gleason is particularly noteworthy as a sample card, as most collectors would agree that Gleason is the most desirable non-Hall of Famer in the Alpha set. Kid Gleason was a star player in the 1890s, and one of baseball's most durable figures, whose career as a player and manager spanned from the 1880s to the 1920s. He is also of great historical significance as the betrayed manager of the infamous 1919 "Black Sox." The card is bright and clean, both front and back, with a strong Very Good to Vg-Ex appearance. As is the case with all of the Alpha Photo-Engraving cards, the card has been downgraded by SGC due to an insignificant strip of surface paper loss along the top border of the reverse, from long ago being displayed taped to a window and later removed. This is an extraordinary and unique example of "Kid" Gleason from Alpha Photo-Engraving, one of card collecting's most legendary and rarest issues. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $16,240.00

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