1890 N172 Old Judge John Boyle, Chicago (Players League) - Newly Discovered Checklist Addition!

Sold For: $2,938

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 95

Item Year: 1890

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

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Graded POOR 10 by SGC. Extremely significant previously unknown N172 checklist addition of John Boyle, Chicago (Players League). This N172 Old Judge 1890 Players League designation card has been separated from a small original-owner collection of Old Judges offered elsewhere in this auction, which by pure chance happened to include several N172 Old Judge rarities. The other two (an extremely rare pose of Thomas “Oyster” Burns, Baltimore, and a card of significant rarity Charles Kelley, Philadelphia) are offered separately in this auction as a single lot. This third card of Boyle, Chicago (PL), is the most exciting of the three rarities. This is a previously unknown card in the N172 set! For decades collectors have meticulously checklisted the N172 set, making significant new checklist discoveries to the set all the more unlikely at this late date. A few times over the years a new pose of a player has been discovered (and even that is extremely rare), but an undiscovered team change, as is the case here, is a far more unlikely and significant variation. This same pose of Boyle is known to exist on another card (#35-4), but on that card Boyle is with the St. Louis Browns, and "St. Louis" appears prominently on his uniform across his chest. On this newly discovered 1890 Players League card, Boyle is identified as a member of "Chicagos (PL)", and the "St. Louis" on his uniform has been masterfully removed by Goodwin & Co. All 1890 Players League cards are extremely rare and very highly prized by serious nineteenth-century collectors. Only a few examples (in some cases, such as this, only one) of any given Old Judge Players League card are known to exist. Their great rarity, of course, is directly related to how and why this card has never before been discovered. As an extremely rare Players League card, it has been by pure chance that not a single example of this card has ever surfaced until this year, when it was miraculously discovered by us when cataloguing a small original-owner collection (including just thirty-two Old Judges) that had never before been seen in the organized collecting world. 1890 was the last year that Old Judge issued baseball cards (they did so in only very limited numbers) and that was also the only year of existence of the short-lived Players League. This is a very attractive N172 Players League example. The card has square corners and, as is often the case with Old Judges in general, and 1890 examples in particular (especially those with a red hue as is the case with this example), the contrast is light, but is relatively strong compared to most other N172 1890 Players League cards. The 1890 Old Judge cards are particularly notorious for having extremely poor photo contrast. Without reference to the back damage on the reverse from long ago being removed from a scrapbook, this card would grade Vg-Ex/Ex. This is an extremely rare and significant 1890 Old Judge Players League card, issued during one of nineteenth-century baseball’s most turbulent periods, and an extremely important newly discovered checklist addition to the nineteenth century's most important set. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,938

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