Presented is a rare Newsboy cabinet card, number 586, of Hall of Famer John Ward. Newsboy cabinet cards were issued by the National Tobacco Works of New York City to promote their Newsboy Tobacco brand. Newsboys are extremely rare and one of the very few baseball-card sets issued during the 1890s. John Ward is one of only two Hall of Fame players included in the set (the other is Amos Rusie); however, he is featured on two separate cards, each displaying a different pose. The offered example is the “arms folded” pose, which is by far the rarer of the two. Incredibly, the offered example was recently discovered by a noncollector. The cabinet presents well, with crisp focus and tremendous image quality, but it would grade modestly due to light foxing and wear visible along the edges, including a chipped upper right corner. The blank reverse displays light foxing due to age.
John Ward was one of the premier players of the nineteenth century and one of the few players in baseball history to enjoy success both on the mound and as a position player. Ward was one of the National League’s top pitchers for Providence before arm problems moved him first to the outfield, and later the infield. He excelled at both stations and helped lead the New York Giants to two consecutive World Championships, in 1888 and 1889. He later served as player/manager for both Brooklyn and New York, skillfully improving each team’s position in the standings following his arrival. An accomplished attorney, he also helped form the Players' League in 1890 and for many years fought against the dreaded reserve clause, which essentially bound a player to one team for his entire career. He retired after the 1894 season with 164 wins and a .275 lifetime average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964. This is a very attractive example of this rarity worthy of even the most advanced Hall of Fame or nineteenth-century card collection. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++.
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