1895 Newsboy Cabinet/N566 John Montgomery Ward "Bat at Side" (SGC EX 60/5) – "1 of 1"; Highest Graded Example on the COMBINED SGC & PSA "Pop" Charts!
HOF WARD!!! During the 1890's, the National Tobacco Works included cabinet cards as a premium with their Newsboy tobacco brand. While over 500 popular actresses, politicians, celebrities and athletes were included in the set, only 13 baseball players are currently known, with only two of them Hall of Famers. One of those Cooperstown inductees is "Captain" John Montgomery Ward, presented here in his "Bat at Side" pose in a spectacular SGC EX 60/5 holder. The overall condition sensitivity and paucity level of this mid-grade Newsboy Cabinet John Ward is s is substantiated by the COMBINED SGC and PSA population reports only listing twelve other specimens with this world-class offering the SOLE and HIGHEST GRADED "bat at Side" copy on the planet! Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward owns the unique distinction of being the only HOF inductee with over 150 wins and 2000 hits. As a pitcher for the Providence team, he won 47 games in 1879 and 40 the following season including the second perfect game in National league history. Due to an over abundance of innings pitched early in his career he converted to shortstop after Providence sold him to the New York club, embarking on his second career as a full-time position player.
To complicate matters even more, he also excelled as a manager for several clubs, raising the question... "should he be enshrined in Cooperstown as a pitcher, shortstop or manager"! Widely renowned for his superior leadership skills, he challenged the reserve clause binding a player to his team by self-renewing contrast, and was the main cog in pioneering the 1890 Players' League, ably assisted by Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon. This landmark effort is completely synonymous with this offering that, with via its pinnacle assessment, portrays the popular Hall of Famer in a Cooperstown worthy image. Ward's sepia-toned mounted "Bat at Side" photo portrays fine registration and while the contrast is a "touch" on the lighter side, its overall aesthetics are superb for a 124-year old keepsake. The vintage cap, striped uniform, stockings, cleats and 19th century style bat all contribute to its imposing character, serving as a steadfast reminder of our National Pastime's origin. The seemingly "timeless" image reveals no obtrusive surface flaws and is framed by ornate/bold red lines, with the red typography below Ward's hallowed image completely intact. All four corners have retained a majority of their original form, providing a super eye pleasing uniformity, with the final exclamation points being the fine edging and relatively clean blank back.
Simply stated, we cannot overemphasize the significance of this magnificent 19th century museum quality remnant. It is inconceivable that any cabinet photo celebrating its 124th birthday could possibly defy "father time", with its brilliant visual appeal meriting its hallowed "1 of 1"; highest graded stature. This Newsboy cabinet basically provides the advanced enthusiast with all of the following highly coveted attributes: (1) unique scarcity for the grade - the single highest graded copy extant; (2) stellar aesthetics; and (3) a renowned player subject for it represents the legendary John Montgomery Ward. Considering cabinet cards are among the hottest collectibles in the hobby, 19th century purist will surely go the distance for this "best of the rest" keepsake that serves as one of the foremost cornerstones to the evolution of America's Pastime!
MIN BID $2,000