1895 Newsboy Cabinet/N566 John Montgomery Ward "Bat at Side" (SGC VG 3) – "1 of 4"; Only 3 Examples Graded Higher on the COMBINED SGC & PSA "Pop" Charts!
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 stellar SGC VG 3 holder. The overall condition sensitivity and scarcity of this seldom surfacing Newsboy Cabinet John Ward is substantiated by the COMBINED SGC and PSA population reports only listing fourteen other "Bat at Side" examples of which a mere 3 copies are graded higher! Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward owns the unique distinction of being the only Cooperstown 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 N.L. 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 portrays the popular Hall of Famer in a museum worthy image. Ward's sepia-toned mounted "Bat at Side" photo portrays fine registration and outstanding contrast, atypical for this issue that usually reveals an extremely light image.
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 true origin. The seemingly "timeless" illustration reveals no obtrusive surface flaws and is framed by ornate/bold red lines, with the red typography below Ward's hallowed image completely intact. The grade is primarily due to corner wear, spotted areas of soiling, toning and peripheral surface chipping scattered along the perimeter. Most significantly, this Newsboy cabinet basically provides the advanced enthusiast with formidable visual appeal and 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 purists will surely go the distance for this super obscure keepsake that serves as one of the foremost cornerstones to the evolution of America's Pastime!
MIN BID $1,500