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Lot # 97 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1895 N566 Newsboy Tobacco Cabinet Amos Rusie

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $9,400

Graded EX 60 by SGC. Extraordinary high-grade Newsboy cabinet card, number 175, of Hall of Fame pitcher Amos Rusie. Newsboy cabinet cards were issued by the National Tobacco Works of New York City to promote their Newsboy Tobacco brand. Newsboys are extremely rare and one of the very few baseball-card sets issued during the 1890s. Rusie is one of only two Hall of Famers included in the set (the other is John Ward, who is featured in different poses on two separate cards); however, we consider Rusie to be the key Hall of Famer in the set because his card is far rarer than either of the two Ward poses, and also because there are so few cards of Rusie in his prime as a player. Nicknamed “The Hoosier Thunderbolt,” Amos Rusie was certainly the fastest pitcher of his day and many, including Connie Mack and John McGraw, considered him to be the fastest pitcher who ever lived. Rusie was so fast that the League had to change the pitching distance from fifty feet to sixty feet, six inches in order to give batters a chance against him. Although his pitching career was brief, it was nothing short of spectacular. Rusie won over 30 games in four consecutive years and led the League in strikeouts on five separate occasions. In 1898 Rusie, at the age of twenty-seven, suffered an arm injury from which he was unable to recover. Despite the injury and the fact that he missed two seasons while trying to recuperate, Rusie’s reputation was such that in 1901 the Reds traded Christy Mathewson to the Giants in exchange for him, bum arm and all. Rusie appeared in only three games with the Reds before retiring, while Mathewson went on to win 373 games over the next sixteen years. In just nine full seasons Rusie won 246 games and finished his career with a 3.07 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977. This is an exceedingly rare high-grade example of Rusie’s most impressive card. The photo has particularly strong contrast and clarity and is affected only by a few small areas of light foxing. The front of the mount displays a hint of minor edge wear, primarily along the right border. The reverse is very clean with just a few insignificant surface marks. This is an outstanding and very high-grade example of an extremely significant nineteenth-century Hall of Famer Newsboy cabinet. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500++. SOLD FOR $9,400

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