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After 121 years of being unknown, a new pose of James Tyng in the N172 Old Judge baseball card set has been discovered! It is formally documented here for the first time ever. The Old Judge set, issued by Goodwin & Company between 1886 and 1890, is the largest and most important of all nineteenth-century baseball card issues. The set has been the subject of so much serious study and endless fascination by collectors for so long that new discoveries are rare, and one would think unlikely at this late date. But not impossible!
The batting pose of Tyng (pictured above) was unknown until last month. We’d like to take credit for the discovery, but really we can’t. That honor goes to Jay Miller, a true scholar of collecting and one of the most advanced collectors of Old Judges in the world. Jay visited REA’s office to look at a large Old Judge collection that came in for auction. As a courtesy he offered to help us review the cards for any hidden rarities or information that would be helpful to us in processing the collection. That sounded great to us, especially since the Old Judge set has so many subtle rarities, and Jay really knows his Old Judges. This is sort of like having Albert Einstein offer to help you with your math homework. To his and our great surprise, while he was carefully reviewing some 600 Old Judges, he suddenly announced that he found a newly discovered Old Judge pose! Without his keen eye and comprehensive knowledge of Old Judges, we are fairly certain that we would have not noticed this card was a new pose. It is possible it would have never been noticed, as there is another batting pose of Tyng in the Old Judge set that we probably would have assumed was this card. But in the photo on the other (already known) batting pose card (obviously taken moments before or after), Tyng is in a bat-at-ready pose, preparing to hit. In the newly discovered card (pictured above), Tyng is standing relaxed with the bat resting on his shoulder.
The Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company (1886-1890) is published and available!
This seems like a perfect time to give special thanks to collectors Jay Miller, Joe Gonsowski, and Richard Masson for the extraordinary contribution they have made to the collecting world with their recent publication of the ultimate volume devoted to Old Judge baseball cards, entitled “The Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company (1886-1890)”. This 457-page full color coffee-table style book is the most thoroughly researched and ambitious baseball card project that we have ever seen. We could not recommend it more highly! It is absolutely a must-have for anyone interested in the history of baseball cards, Old Judge baseball cards in particular, or nineteenth-century baseball. This book deserves an honored place in every baseball or card reference library. Until this book arrived, we could never have imagined that a book on Old Judges of this magnitude and quality was even possible. We cannot imagine how many hundreds - or thousands - of hours of work that were invested in this project. The publishing of this important volume is a great gift from these gentlemen to the collecting community. All we can say is Thank You!
“The Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company (1886-1890)” is available by mail. If anyone would like to order a copy, send $125 to:
1158 26th Street #537
Santa Monica, CA 90403