An astonishing hobby rarity from Young's own collection!1893 Cy Young Cabinet Card Signed Twice, PSA/DNA Authentic. He wears the uniform of the Cleveland Spiders in this glorious early image, representing the team he would supply the first 241 of his immortal record 511 career victories. We are able to assign this image of the young Young to the first half of his arachnid tenure, as the same studio portrait shot was utilized for his rare and highly coveted "Just So Tobacco" card that saw distribution in 1893. We can be certain the shot dates to no earlier, as every known "Just So" figure was a member of the 1893 team, including Buck Ewing, who debuted in Cleveland that year. Young would post a thirty-four and sixteen record in 1893, notching almost half of the team's seventy-three victories, more than twice that of teammate and fellow future Hall of Famer John Clarkson.
The cabinet card (4.25x6.5") bears the advertising text on obverse and verso of "Pifer & Becker," a top Cleveland photo studio in the waning years of the 19th century that was tasked with a photographic documentation of the Spiders roster in individual portraiture. Only six "Pifer & Becker" cabinets have emerged on the hobby's major auction block over the past two decades--Heritage auctioned Jimmy McAleer's in 2013--and this is the only known Young specimen, and the only autographed example of the half dozen known.
In fact, Young autographs the image twice, once in a full "Cy Young" format across the upper chest of his collared jersey, and again as "Cy" in the lower border. Each signature is applied in blue ink at an approximate strength of 7/10. The cabinet exhibits mild handling wear, with general soiling, light corner bends and a few white specks on the image, but no distractions of any real significance.
Thrillingly, we can trace the provenance of this cabinet to Young's own collection through an included brown paper mailing envelope addressed entirely in the Hall of Famer's 9/10 black fountain pen ink. Young provides another autograph at upper left in the form of a return address, and identifies the contents of the 7x9" mailer as "Photos." The envelope is a bit ragged, but Young's signature is unaffected.
The experts at PSA/DNA confirm the personal derivation on the header of the slab, solidifying the relic's status as the finest signed Young image on Earth. Encapsulated "Authentic" by PSA/DNA.
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