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1893 Just So Tobacco Nig Cuppy SGC 30 GD 2....

2009 April Signature Vintage Sports Memorabilia Auction #714

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Auction Ended On: Apr 23, 2009
Item Activity: 14 Internet/mail bidders
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Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

1893 Just So Tobacco Nig Cuppy SGC 30 GD 2. Graded 30 Good 2 by SGC. One of only two examples known to exist. A rare subject from the rarest of 19th Century productions. The association between the "Just So" tobacco brand and baseball took some 70-odd years to present itself. The historical record had to be updated in the 1960's when a very small sampling of the elusive treasures was discovered. It would take the better part of two decades for another precious quantity to be found in 1981, plus what some would call the miracle find in 1989. Even after these three discoveries the total population of baseball theme Just So cards was no more than 15 pieces. Nig Cuppy would remain an uncatalogued entry for almost 100 years as the first known Cuppy card was part of the 1989 find. This discovery was all that much more important as this is the first (and still only) known instance in which Nig Cuppy appears on a baseball card. George Cuppy (1869-1922) spent 10 years in the majors from 1892 to 1901 and spent nine of those years as the #2 starter behind baseball legend Cy Young. His best season was his first when he went 28-13 with a 2.51 ERA. Moving the pitchers mound a year later seemed to get the best of "Nig" as he was never able to match those rookie season numbers again. The offered copy is a fresh discovery made by a gentleman in the the midwest. The reverse displays very light linear surface staining with a minimal amount of surface loss. One spot of loss is about the size of a dime, the others are three dots plus one dot shaped surface pull. The obverse, at first glance, presents as an impressive EX/MT to NM dream with minimal corner wear, almost perfect centering and a well defined central image. Close examination shows some light surface scuffing at the left edge at center but the two unobtrusive lines which appear as "scratches" in the image are actually print oddities and not surface damage. A truly fresh gem from what most would proclaim the rarest of 19th Century baseball editions.

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