Friday, January 09, 2009

19th Century Only Auction: Brooklyn Rarities

Below are some Brooklyn related items that I thought would be worth sharing from 19th Century Only's January Auction. Vintage Pre-WWI material is the focus and they do not disappoint.

Issued by Goodwin & Co. from 1887 to 1890 for their brand "Old Judge Cigarettes," it is one of the earliest large Baseball sets ever produced. In fact, it has over 500 different players and consist of over 3,000 variations. Furthermore, new variations are found all the time. It would be surprising if any collector had a complete set in hand. Although, I suspect a certain MSNBC broadcaster may be close. The cards are basically photos on thick cardboard stock, are blank-backed and can be both numbered and unnumbered.

(Update: There is a brand new 500+ page book that just came out that features photos of every known Old Judge card in existence. Go here for more info.)

Hardie Henderson was a 6 year pro who spent 2 of those years with the Brooklyn team. In those years he won 15 games and lost 12. In the card below he is seen making a pitch, but he looks more like he is doing some new-fangled stretching routine. Someone give him a late night infomercial. The most ironic part of Hardie's life is that he died in 1903 when he was hit by a train trolley.

Get it? Played for the Trolley Dodgers and killed by a train trolley.

The aptly named Adonis Terry is considered by some to be a worthy candidate for the Hall of Fame. Adonis was known for a clean lifestyle and physical conditioning in an era of mass consumption- alcohol that is. He originally started with the 1883 Brooklyn Grays and stayed on as the team was admitted into the major leagues the following year. From there he played for the Dodgers until 1891, and had a total career than spanned 14 years in the majors. He was considered the very first Brooklyn Dodger pitcher ever, was a fan favorite and led them to 2 league titles. In his career he pitched 2 no-hitters, won 197 games, pitched 367 complete games and had a lifetime 3.74 ERA. All of his stats rival, or is even better, than some of his peers who are currently in the Hall like Jack Chesbro and Rube Waddell. In fact, considering the constant rule changes during his playing days (like moving the pitching mound by 10 feet) it's surprising that he continued to excel and be successful. check out his Wikipedia page for more details.

Below is the 1913 T200 Brooklyn Dodgers team card from Fatima Cigarettes. They are a high gloss photo on very thin stock. This set is widely collected since all 16 teams in the majors were represented. This card features 2 Hall of Famers, Casey Stengel and Zach Wheat. Also, it should be noted, that the below card is the highest graded example that exist in either a PSA or SGC holder.


  1. Boy, I wish I had some extra dough laying around. Would love to pick up one of these.

  2. You and I both. I have yet to ever purchase an Old Judge card and the Fatima has been on my want list for years. I just have not found an affordable one yet that looks decent.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...