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1888 N172 Old Judge Tommy McCarthy
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $593
1888 N172 Old Judge card featuring Hall of Famer Tommy McCarthy in a throwing pose (#301-2). Graded FAIR 20 by SGC but don't be fooled by the modest SGC grade! Extremely clean front with a fairly strong image. On the reverse are some very light surface abrasions and we can see the faint outline of old-fashioned paper "photo corners" in two opposite corners (the card was obviously from a very old-time collection); these minor reverse flaws are of no consequence but keep this card from grading at a much higher level. It is otherwise in Near Mint condition! McCarthy's statistics are unimpressive for a Hall of Famer, but his creative innovations left an unforgettable mark on the game. McCarthy had played for manager Frank Selee's Oshkosh champions in the North Western League in 1887, and after four years in the American Association was reunited with Selee in Boston. Selee encouraged innovative baseball, and McCarthy is credited with perfecting, if not inventing, the hit-and-run; runner-to-batter signals; and an outfield trap, designed to freeze forced baserunners, so that if the runner stayed on base McCarthy would trap the ball and get at least a force out and possibly a double play. The card is very well centered with four square corners. This card is one of the highlights from a larger collection of N172 cards, which we have broken down into several smaller lots in the auction. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $593
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