Auction features 130-year-old baseball card of infielder – and a dog
An online auction of sports memorabilia, put on by a Denver-area company Thursday night, included a 130-year-old baseball card featuring a dog named Midget.
An 1887 “Old Judge” card of baseball player Art Whitney fetched $1,371.74, in part, because of the pooch that is pictured placing a paw on a squatting Whitney’s knee.
“It is not an incredibly rare card,” said Brian Drent, owner of the Mile High Card Company, headquartered in Castle Pines. “It’s kind of cool because there’s a dog in it.”
The Whitney card likely will never be confused with a Honus Wagner card, the crème de la crème of collectible cards that commands over $1 million per card. Experts estimate that fewer than 60 of the T206 (American Tobacco Company) Wagner cards remain.
Drent figures there still are hundreds of Whitney cards around, even though it’s among the first year of baseball cards ever produced — the Old Judge Cigarettes series.
“That makes it very important, the first issued. That’s what started the whole hobby,” Drent said.
Drent’s small company — it has five employees — conducts four catalog auctions a year, which bring in about a combined $15 million. On Thursday night, a 1948-49 Leaf #8 Satchel Paige card stole the show, with a $93,219.66 bid.
Whitney was born Jan. 16, 1858, in Brockton, Mass. The left-side infielder — third base and shortstop — batted right and threw right, according to the Baseball Reference.
He played 16 years of professional baseball, from 1877 to 1893.
An 1887 “Old Judge” card shows baseball player Art Whitney crouching next to Midget the dog.