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Lot # 105 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1889 M-UNC Police Gazette Cabinet Billy "Adonis" Terry

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $11,750.00

Graded EX 60 by SGC. Extraordinary high-grade example of one of the rarest of all nineteenth-century baseball card issues: the 1889 Police Gazette cabinet card series. Few cards, nineteenth-century or otherwise, can compare with the extreme rarity of this set. This is the first Police Gazette cabinet sample card we have even seen in about ten years. Fewer than fifty examples in total are known to exist. The 2006 Standard Catalog lists only twenty-four different subjects known. The offered card features Brooklyn's star pitcher Billy "Adonis" Terry dressed in street clothes. This is a newly discovered card which will be added to the checklist in the next edition of The Standard Catalog. The exact method of issue of this set is still unknown, but they were most likely issued as premiums by Police Gazette in 1889. The Police Gazette , one of the most prominent of all weekly periodicals of the era, provided in depth coverage of professional baseball. Bill "Adonis" Terry is not a Hall of Famer, but he is one of the most outstanding of all nineteenth-century non-Hall of Famers and many historians feel he is worthy of consideration. He was without question one of the most prominent stars of the era. He was also the first pitcher in Dodger history. Terry led the Brooklyn Grays to the Interstate Championship in 1883, and following this success, the team was admitted to the Major Leagues in 1884 and Adonis Terry became the first pitcher in the franchise's history. Over the next thirteen seasons Terry recorded 197 wins and had three 20-game seasons. He also has the distinction of having two no-hit games. He no-hit St. Louis in 1886 and Louisville in 1888, both while pitching for Brooklyn. His 22-15 record led Brooklyn to the American Association Championship in 1889. In 1890 he jumped to the Players League and enjoyed his finest season ever, compiling a 26-16 record. Terry was one of the few star pitchers who was known for his hitting and also played other positions, including occasionally playing first base, shortstop, third base, and over the course of his career 216 games in the outfield. He also umpired as an active player and in his post-playing career. One cannot profile Billy Terry, however, without making special note of his great popularity as one of the game's most handsome stars. His true full name was William H. Terry but he was universally known as "Adonis" Terry. According to, "Handsome Adonis Terry brought more women to the ballpark than free admission on Ladies' Day." The image on this card is very bold, with flawless clarity and contrast. This is a spectacular example. Very bright, crisp, and clean, both front and back. The mount has the gilt-embossed imprint "Richard K. Fox - Publisher of the Police Gazette, Franklin Square, New York." The mount has only the lightest edge and corner wear. This is an exceptional sample of one of the nineteenth century's most elusive and highly regarded issues. In Excellent condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $11,750.00

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