Judging History: How Old Judge Baseball Cards Capture a Time You Hope Won’t Fade Away


When the subject of big, bad early baseball card sets is debated, collectors are often found discussing the iconic T206 release. But while that set has its share of full-blown rarities, we should be clear – it’s the Old Judge set that has no equal in terms of degree of difficulty. Cataloged these days as N172, the Old Judge set is generally heralded as the first mainstream baseball card release that featured both minor league and major league players across the sport’s growing landscape. Most sources indicate that the first of these cards were printed in 1887 with distribution running…

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Anson Whaley

A lifelong collector, Anson’s collecting focus is on pre-war sports cards and in building sets. He’s also a closet Dwight Gooden and wrestling Rookie Card collector. Got a question or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @PreWarCards or @GoodenCollector.

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