The original Gypsy Queen – 1887 N175 set

9 05 2011

I just finished going through everything in the 1962 Topps and 2011 Topps Heritage sets – so I could go back to my primary objective.  However, as I posted yesterday – gypsies have commandeered this blog!  I got 2 boxes of Gypsy Queen in last week and am excited to go through the same process that I did for Heritage (and that I do for each Topps set).  At the end, I will be doing an overview of the 1887 baseball season – but the first step is going over the original Gypsy Queen set.

114 players featured in the set (per the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards) – though the exact number of cards issued is unknown.

  • Set Background: The N174/N175 Gypsy Queen tobacco card set was issued by the Goodwin & Co. in 1887 to help market the company’s Gypsy Queen cigarettes.  Goodwin was founded before the Civil War and was one of four tobacco companies that became the American Tobacco Company monopoly in 1890.  Goodwin is known for Old Judge, Gypsy Queen and Goodwin Champions card sets.  I’ve seen this set designated as both N174 and N175.  Many of the cards feature the same photos as the N172 Old Judge set – which has far more than thee 150 or so cards from this set.
  • Set Design: The cards feature a sepia toned photograph of the designated player with a white border.  The border curves at the top, with the words “Gypsy Queen” prominently featured in old-style font.  The player name (usually the full last name and first initial), position and team city are featured at the bottom.  Players for the 1886 World Series champion St. Louis Browns (of the American Association) also had the word “Champions” below the team name.  The bottom border states Goodwin & Co. copyright and clearly states the year of issue – 1887.  The words “Cigarettes” and “Goodwin & Co. N.Y.” are also shown at the bottom.  There are two sizes of cards in the set.  The most common size is the 1.5″ x 2.5″, while the far rarer larger cards measure 2″ x 3.5″.  There are only 8 or 9 larger cards known to exist, and they tend to be of more notable players.
  • Packs: Cards were released inside 1 card per Gypsy Queen cigarette packs sold by Goodwin & Co.  I don’t know this for sure, but I surmise the larger cards were available via some sort of mail-in (as they seemingly wouldn’t fit in a cigarette pack).
  • Rookies: I’m not even going to go there.  The rookie card craze still had 100 years before it built any momentum.
  • Hall of Fame: There are 12 Hall of Famers out of the cards known to be issued in this set.
    • Buck Ewing, Dan Brouthers, John Montgomery Ward, Mike “King” Kelly, Ned Hanlon, Charlie “Old Hoss” Radbourn, Orator Jim O’Rourke, Pud Galvin, Roger Connor, Tim Keefe, Tommy McCarthy, and Charles Comiskey.
  • Last Active player: Deacon McGuire.  This was interesting to figure out to say the least.  McGuire played 1 game for the Detroit Tigers in 1912 – he was the only player from this set to make an appearance in the decade of the 1910’s.  McGuire was a journeyman catcher who played in parts of 26 seasons – a record until Nolan Ryan broke it in the mid-90’s.  He also played for 11 different franchises, which was a record until Matt Stairs passed that record last year.  McGuire was the starting catcher for the 1904 New York Highlanders (Yankees), so he likely caught the majority of Jack Chesbro’s modern record 41 wins.  He played regularly until 1906, when he played 51 games New York.  He was a manager for Boston and Cleveland after that, never playing more than 6 games in a year over the last half of the decade.  He was a coach for the Tigers in 1912 when he played his last game – going 1 for 2.  A number of other players made appearances in the second half of the 1900’s, a couple of them after a significant time away from the game.
  • Variations: The most recent Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards listed 114 different players, 56 more small size variations of cards for those players.  Many of the different photo variations involve one fielding pose and another batting pose.

Parallel Set

There are 8 large card variations of the players in the regular set.  These are not photo variations – they are the same card but in a larger size (the 2″ x 3.5″).  This is still slightly smaller than today’s standard card set.  If you were rich and collected old cards, it would be pretty sweet to marry up one of the larger cards with the smaller cards.  This would be difficult, though – the larger cards are particularly rare.  I’ve seen a number of websites reference that there are 9 large card variation.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

3 responses

9 05 2011
ringo73

I loved your series of posts on the 1962 Topps/2011 Topps Heritage set, and I’m looking forward to reading more about the Gypsies!

9 05 2011
chuckneo

thanks!

15 06 2011
Jennifer

Great write up… I believe Verisleeve (www.verisleeve.com) has recently graded and authenticated a couple of these cards.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: