1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Al Mays, Mets

Sold For: $15,275

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 33

Item Year: 1887

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Cards (1830-1899)

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Graded FAIR 20 by SGC. Do not be fooled by the SGC grade on this card! This is an extraordinary high-grade example! This outstanding high-grade card has been downgraded solely for a few neatly written vintage notations on the blank reverse. Exceedingly rare New York American Association player Kalamazoo Bats card of Mets pitcher Al Mays. All Mets players are extremely rare in the Kalamazoo Bats set. In fact, though it might seem impossible, they may actually be even rarer than Kalamazoo Bats New York Giants players. There were no Mets players in the legendary Kalamazoo Bats portrait find of 1987. (All were Giants and Philadelphia players.) In thirty-eight years we have seen only seven Mets player Kalamazoo Bats, and we would be surprised if more than twenty examples in total were even known to exist. Among nineteenth-century sample cards, few issues approach the rarity (or the majestic presence) of Mets Kalamazoo Bats. Most consider the Mets a set unto themselves, distinct from the Giants. Each Mets player is pictured with no hat (Giant players are all wearing hats) and players are pictured in portraits identical to those that appear in the rare "Spotted Ties" subset of the N172 Old Judge set. This is a tremendous example of an incredible early rarity, and one of the finest in terms of condition of the few Mets Kalamazoo Bats we have ever seen or heard of. Virtually perfect centering, with just the slightest hint of corner wear. Very clean and strong in all respects, with superb photo quality. Strong Excellent condition downgraded by SGC due to ink notations on the top and bottom edges of the reverse, which comes with the territory with nineteenth-century cards and which in our opinion has no impact on the outstanding condition this card displays. A far lesser quality example of this card sold at auction in 2008 for $12,000. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $15,275

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