Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LXXIII
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/1/2017
“Kelly came to Chicago from Cincinnati, and soon became a general favorite. He was a whole-souled, genial fellow, with a host of friends, and but one enemy, that one being himself.”
-Cap Anson

Mike “King” Kelly was professional baseball’s first matinee idol: the first ballplayer to “author” an autobiography, the first to have a hit song written about him, and the first to have a successful acting career outside the game. A handsome man with a full mustache and a head of red hair, Kelly through his fame helped change professional baseball from a pleasant diversion into America’s most popular sport. At his peak Kelly earned the highest salary in the game. He spent every cent he made, and died almost penniless less than a year after he played his last professional game.

$10,000 Kelly – Baseball’s First True “Money Man”

Having reached the pinnacle of baseball stardom, Kelly symbolized baseball, entertainment and was considered “the finest looking man of our time.” For the modern sports fan to ponder Kelly’s popularity, you could say he was the David Beckham of his time.df

With Chicago and Cap Anson ready to clean house and reinvent the White Stockings, Kelly was sold to the Boston Beaneaters for the unimaginable sum of $10,000. Kelly was paid $5,000 per season, with his contract structured to pay him the league maximum salary of $3,000, plus another $2,000 for use of his image in advertising. To put Kelly’s salary in perspective the average laborer in Boston made $1.28/day, while working a six-day work week, making the average household income approximately $390/year. The thought of getting paid $5,000 per year to work only during the summer playing baseball seemed a dream to the hod carriers, mill workers and dock workers of the time.

The Absolute Finest N175 Type 2 Gypsy Queen King Kelly On Record

Rarity might be the greatest understatement we could apply to this card. As far as 19th century offerings go, this premium sized N175 of Kelly provides advanced collectors and investors a truly unique opportunity to own the best of the best from baseball’s earliest days. Only four examples of this card have ever passed the grading stations at SGC (PSA has never graded one of these cards!), with none of the other three known Kellys matching this card’s grade.

Despite the obvious miscut along the card’s upper border, slicing off a part of the glorious Gypsy Queen logo, this cardboard classic’s eye appeal is unmatched, exhibiting its original gloss, while remaining devoid of the scuffs, scrapes and surface wear that are so common with cards from this time period. Simply put, the card is without equal.

Should you have questions about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own perhaps the finest 19th century card on record or require more photos, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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Extremely Rare 1887 Large Gypsy Queen Cigarettes (2-3-7/8) N175 King Kelly With Bat SGC 4 VG-EX Highest Graded Example !

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This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $12,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Friday, December 1, 2017.
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