It has taken ten years of auctions for us to finally offer a card from the incredible N167 Old Judge issue of 1886, and it is fitting that the card originates from the collection of one of our great friends and earliest supporters, an advanced collector whose kindness and generosity helped guide us through our earliest days, and who was a vocal supporter of Love of the Game from the very beginning. The card features Hall of Fame pitcher Mickey Welch, one of just 37 cards from the entire issue to have been graded by SGC. For their part, PSA has assessed just 15.
The card was part of a 12-card set issued in 1886 by Goodwin & Co, each card featuring a member of the New York National League ballclub. The 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" cards were printed on very thin paper, each featuring a portrait derived from woodcut images made from photographs taken by Joseph Wood. Each portrait is set against a gray background, the brand "Old Judge" featured on the card front and an ornate Old Judge advertisement printed on the reverse. Half of the issue's subjects would ultimately be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. They are extraordinarily rare, to the point where just one complete set is known to have existed, with two of the cards in that set being the only known examples.
This example has been graded POOR 1 by SGC for obvious reasons; heavy wear at the corners and edges reduce the technical grade. Despite this, the image of Welch remains strong, the majority of the wear found away from the image itself. The ornate advertisement on the reverse remains strong and bold, despite significant surface wear. An incredible card featuring a Hall of Famer from Goodwin & Co.'s first attempt at baseball cards.