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Lot # 30 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Tom McLaughlin, Mets

Starting Bid - $5,000.00 , Sold For - $38,187.50

Graded EX 60 by SGC. Exceedingly rare New York American Association player Kalamazoo Bats card of Mets infielder Tom McLaughlin. This is the only Kalamazoo Bats example known to exist of Tom McLaughlin. This discovery card surfaced for the first time approximately ten years ago, before which it was completely unknown. In Lew Lipset's The Encyclopedia of Base Ball Cards Volume 1 - 19th Century Cards , he speculates that the Kalamazoo Bats Mets and Giants players actually date from 1886 (as opposed to 1887). Interestingly, this card (which was not yet known to exist when Lipset's first volume was printed in 1983) essentially confirms this hypothesis, as McLaughlin was with the New York Metropolitans only in 1886. All Mets players are extremely rare in the Kalamazoo Bats set. In fact, though it might seem impossible, they may actually be even rarer than Kalamazoo Bats New York Giants players. There were no Mets players in the legendary Kalamazoo Bats portrait find of 1987. (All were Giants and Philadelphia players.) In thirty-seven years we have seen only three or four Mets player Kalamazoo Bats, and we would be surprised if more than a dozen examples in total were even known to exist. Among nineteenth-century sample cards, few issues approach the rarity (or the majestic presence) of Mets Kalamazoo Bats. Most consider the Mets a set unto themselves, distinct from the Giants. Each Mets player is pictured with no hat (Giant players are all wearing hats) and players are pictured in portraits identical to those that appear in the rare "Dotted Ties" subset of the Old Judge set. This is a tremendous example of an incredible early rarity. In addition to its great significance as the only known example from one of the nineteenth-century's rarest and most noteworthy sets, this card is the finest in terms of condition of the few Mets Kalamazoo Bats we have ever seen or heard of. Centered slightly to the left, with just the slightest hint of corner wear. Very clean and strong in all respects, with superb photo quality. Strong Excellent condition. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $38,187.50

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