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1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Al Mays, Mets - Highest Graded!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $8,813
Graded VG/EX 50 by SGC. Highes- graded example by SGC with no examples graded by PSA. Extraordinary high-grade example of one of nineteenth-century card collecting's legendary sample rarities. Exceedingly rare New York American Association player Kalamazoo Bats card of Mets pitcher Al Mays. This card (along with two other Kalamazoo Bats of Mets players offered in this auction) were found in upstate New York where (probably not coincidentally) a few other New York Kalamazoo Bats cards have surfaced over the years, including the example of Hall of Famer John Ward that sold for $141,000 at REA in 2008, setting a record price for any nineteenth-century baseball card ever sold at auction that stands to this day. 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 fewer than ten Mets player Kalamazoo Bats, and we would be surprised if more than thirty 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 minor soiling on the reverse, which comes with the territory with nineteenth-century cards and which has no impact on the otherwise outstanding Excellent condition this card displays. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,813
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