'King' Kelly baseball card auctions for $71,200 in Maine

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 12:58:10

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'King' Kelly baseball card auctions for $71,200 in Maine

A rare 1888 baseball card of Michael 'King' Kelly sold among Beaneaters items

He was the first celebrity baseball player, and over 120 years later Michael "King" Kelly's baseball card is still incredibly popular among fans.

King Kelly Baseball Card Old JudgeKelly is thought to have been the first baseball star to popularise autographing

August 29 saw a rare card of the Hall of Famer sell for$71,200, as one of seven Old Judge Cigarettes cards showing the 1888 Boston Beaneaters team. The cards brought $102,000 in total.

Old Judge Cigarettes cards are considered to be some of the earliest and rarest of all baseball cards. The "King" Kelly card at auction is especially scarce as it shows the outfielder in plain clothes, rather than his Beaneaters uniform.

The card was reportedly found in a trunk full of papers, much like the Black Swamp Find cards that sold at Heritage Auctions earlier this month. It is one of only four known to exist.

Kelly spent most of his career playing for the Boston Beaneaters and Chicago White Stockings. A player-manager three times in his career, he is credited with the invention of strategies such as the hit and run, hook slide and backing up first base.

Kelly is also believed to be one of the first baseball players to popularise autographing, and his autobiography, Play Ball, was the first ever written by a baseball player. A man of many firsts, the fan song Slide, Kelly, Slide, was also one of America's first pop songs.

Paul Fraser Collectibles brings you all the latest news on sports memorabilia collecting. For vintage sports collectors, we are currently offering a great photograph of James J Jeffries, aka The Boilermaker.

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