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1889 N172 Old Judge Bid McPhee
Starting Bid - $1,500.00, Sold For - $10,072.50
Graded EX+ 70 by SGC. One of only two examples graded at this level by SGC, with just one graded higher. Extremely rare and desirable 1889 N172 Old Judge of Hall of Famer Bid McPhee (#317-4 pose; catch, hands head high, "John McPhee, 2d B. Cincinnatis"), dating from his playing days as a second baseman with the Cincinnati Red Stockings. This is a newly discovered card that has never before been seen in the modern collecting world. This card was one of the highlights of a large totally untouched collection of N172 cards consigned to this auction, which was saved for decades by the family of the original owner. McPhee is perhaps the single rarest of all the Hall of Famers in the Old Judge set. This is a very attractive example with 1888 copyright date. (The copyright date on the photograph of the card is "1888" but the style of the card design indicates it was issued in 1889.) Many historians were surprised by McPhee's election to the Hall. On the surface, his .275 lifetime batting average over eighteen seasons does not appear to warrant election, but McPhee was widely considered to be the very best fielding second baseman of his era, and he is now the only nineteenth-century second baseman in the Hall. No creases, very light corner wear, outstanding photo contrast, and centered to the left with a slight diamond cut. Clean front and back. An exceptional high-grade example of one of the most highly prized and significant rarities in the N172 Old Judge set. Reserve $1,500. Estimate $3,000+. SOLD FOR $10,072.50
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