Auc­tion fea­tures 130-year-old base­ball card of in­fielder – and a dog

The Denver Post - - ROUNDUP - — Kieran Ni­chol­son,

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.

Mile High Card Com­pany

An 1887 “Old Judge” card shows base­ball player Art Whit­ney crouch­ing next to Mid­get the dog.

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