1887 N175-2 Gypsy Queen
John Ward (Large)

In 1887, Goodwin and Co. of New York issued a series of trading cards featuring baseball players. They were distributed with the Gypsy Queen brand of cigarettes. This set, designated as N175, includes two size varieties. For the small variety, which measures 1 1/2" x 2 1/2", there are approximately 140 different known subjects and poses. For the large variety, 2" x 3 1/2", there are only nine known subjects. Surviving small variety examples are very scarce, while surviving large variety examples are incredibly rare.

Featured on this card is Hall-of-Famer John Montgomery Ward, pictured as a shortstop and member of the New York Giants. Previous to the issuance of this card, Ward served as a pitcher with the Providence ball club. Afterwards, he had the dual role of player/manager. In addition to several of his accomplishments as a player, Ward was also known as a union organizer, attorney, baseball executive, and for his efforts in helping to establish the Players League in 1890.

The offered specimen is the only example ever to be evaluated by SGC, in any grade. Additionally, PSA has never evaluated an example of this card. The designated grade is VG/EX 50. The obverse exhibits decent centering, good photographic quality and contrast, exceptionally clean surfaces, and just mild wear on the corners. The reverse has some moderate soiling/staining. An extreme rarity, this is a classic 19th Century issue featuring an important figure in baseball’s early years.

Sold in 2009