"Unique for the Grade" 1889 Old Judge N172 Buck Ewing & Mascot "149-11 Standing by Mascot on Chair" Pose (PSA EX/MT+ 6.5) – "1 of 1; Only One PSA Example Graded Higher!
Of the eleven different Buck Ewing N172 Old Judge poses for the ultra-popular Cooperstown inductee William "Buck" Ewing, his most eclectic subject would have to be the "149-11 Standing by Mascot on Chair" image as presented in the illustrious periodical "The Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company (1886-1890)." Presented here just happens to be that extremely desirable 1889 subject graded a spectacular "PSA EX/MT+ 6.5", with its "unique for the grade" status just happening to place it as the sole PSA 6.5 marvel that has only been bested by a single PSA 7 example!
One of the more intriguing Old Judge images, New York Giants star captain Buck Ewing posed for the camera standing alongside ultra-popular Giants Mascot Willie Breslin, with the young lad standing on top of a period-style chair, obviously attempting to reach the relative height of the Giant's legendary catcher. A lifetime .303 hitter, Hall of Famer Buck Ewing was arguably the finest 19th century catcher. He had single seasons where he led the National League in home runs as well as triples, incredibly stroking 15 or more triples 5 times in his illustrious career. His 18-year tenure commenced in 1880 with the Troy Haymakers, and in 1883 he joined the New York Gothams, ably assisting the New York club (now called the Giants) to capture their first two National League pennants and world championships in 1888 and 1889.
After "jumping ship" to the Player's League (PL) in 1890 that disbanded after that single season, he returned to the Giants for two more seasons, eventually playing his final five seasons with Cleveland (2) and Cincinnati (3). While catching was his primary position, he demonstrated his remarkable versatility and athleticism by also playing all four infield positions, outfield and even pitcher! Every 19th century discussion involving this period's greatest players includes the iconic Buck Ewing, substantiating why sophisticated card enthusiasts painstakingly pursue his ultra-obscure cardboard subjects. Only a handful of them could possibly compete with this "1 of 1" Old Judge offering that presents the highly coveted "Ewing & Mascot" image.
The well-centered sepia image portrays both Ewing and "little" Breslin donning their classic New York Giants uniforms, with the illustration emanating superb clarity and atypical fine contrast that bests many of the N172 Old Judge cards revealing extremely light photos. Beneath the hallowed image is the bold sepia text reading "EWING & MASCOT, New York – OLD JUDGE – CIGARETTE FACTORY. GOODWIN & CO., New York". No creasing or glaring surface flaws are evident, the upper corners depict modest wear somewhat consistent with the technical assessment and the final exclamation point is a relatively clean blank back. Absolutely bursting with a seemingly infinite list of superlatives, what could possibly be more rewarding for a passionate 19th century collector than one of the finest Old Judge Buck Ewing subjects of its kind, exhibiting a truly magnificent image for one of our National Pastimes greatest catchers ever!
This card is an 1889 version based on the 3 lines at the bottom of the front of the card. PSA only grades OLD JUDGE cards with 1887.
MIN BID $2,500