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1887 N175 Brownie Champ Gypsy Queen Dave Foutz
Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $1,896
Graded EX+ 70 by SGC. Extremely rare Gypsy Queen Brownie Champ portrait of Dave Foutz. This card is the same size and general format as N172 Old Judge, but with a slightly different design, and advertising for Goodwin's Gypsy Queen brand of tobacco. All N175 Gypsy Queens are rare and distinctive, but a Brownie Champ example is particularly so. There has always been some confusion as to the catalog number of the smaller sized N172 Gypsy Queens (not to be confused with the even rarer large-sized N175 Gypsy Queens, of which nine different cards are known) because the American Card Catalog does not distinguish between the two sizes of cards represented by "N175." Chris Von der Ahe, the arrogant owner of the American Association St. Louis Browns, acquired pitcher Dave Foutz by buying the entire Bay City, Michigan, franchise. Paired with Bob Caruthers, he helped pitch the Browns to American Association championships from 1885 to 1887. Caruthers contributed 99 wins in those three seasons, Foutz 98. Foutz won a league-leading 41 games in 1886 (his third straight year with an over-.700 winning percentage), in 504 innings, and recorded 11 shutouts. In 1887 Foutz managed a mere 25 wins, but hit .357 in 65 games as an outfielder and first baseman, positions he played more frequently for the rest of his career. Cashing in on his investment, Von der Ahe sold his ace righthanders to Brooklyn in 1888 for $13,500. With the hard-hitting Foutz at first base, Brooklyn won the 1889 Association championship, switched to the National League, and won another pennant in 1890. As a pitcher, Foutz's .690 winning percentage is the third-highest career mark (tied with Whitey Ford) among retired pitchers. The card has just a hint of corner wear and the reverse is perfectly clean. This is a very interesting and distinctive sample card of an unusual Old Judge-related nineteenth-century issue. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $1,896
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