Ultra-Rare 1888 S.F. Hess Creole California League (N321) (SGC NM+ 7.5) - "1 of 1"; The Highest Graded Example for ALL N321 Subjects on the COMBINED SGC & PSA "Pop" Charts!
Jumping on the "Old Judge" and "Allen & Ginter" bandwagon, in 1888 the Rochester based S.F. Hess Company inserted baseball cards within their "Creole" cigarette packs to help promote their popular tobacco brand. One of the scarcest 19th century type cards extant, these colorful keepsakes from a by-gone era are highly sought by the most advanced enthusiasts. The complete set includes 34 different players from the California League, 1 umpire and 40 total subjects since two separate cards were issued for five of the players.
Seldom surfacing in the hobby, the appearance of a single subject immediately arouses a serious interest, with this ultra-rare SGC NM+ 7.5 George Hanley N321 offering the SOLE and HIGHEST GRADED example of the mere six specimens listed on the combined SGC and PSA "Pop" Charts (5-SGC; 1-PSA). Furthermore, and extraordinary to say the least, this miraculous offering's 7.5 assessment places it alongside a single other subject (SGC 7.5 Pat Fitzgerald) as the finest example on the planet for ALL N321 S.F. Hess subjects! George Hanley never played MLB but he did partake in 10 seasons of professional baseball and/or the minor leagues from 1884 thru 1896 (he missed the 1886, 1887 & 1895 campaigns).
The journeyman middle infielder certainly bounced around during that 13-year span, playing for nine different teams, with this extremely scarce offering portraying an extremely well-centered image of Hanley for his 1888 San Francisco Haverly's squad. Stubbornly defying "father-time", the 132-year old marvel exhibits absolutely breathtaking aesthetics, highlighted by the sparkling Hanley pose that includes an array of brilliant blue and red colors emanating from his classic Haverly's uniform. Hanley is standing alongside what we assume to be second base, holding a baseball in his right hand and set against a brilliant background consisting of robust green, blue and somewhat pink-tinted hues.
Interestingly enough, this stands as one of the few "colorized" 19th century issues, further adding to its immense desirability among 19th century collectors. The various black lettered captions include the following text: "HANLEY, SS HAVERLY'S (across the top border) – CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (directly above Hanley's image) – S.F. HESS & CO.'S. CREOLE CIGARETTES. (across the bottom border).", the corners have maintained a majority of their original right-angled formations, the obverse side surface retains a majority of its original factory issued attributes, and the blank verso is super clean. An absolutely unfathomable artifact, it has successfully withstood the test of time to reside as the irrefutable "best of the rest" example FOR ALL N321 SUBJECTS, sharing the spotlight atop the SGC and PSA "Pop" charts with only a single other S.F. Hess N321 player!
MIN BID $2,500