Old Judge 'dog' baseball card sells at auction

A wildly popular Old Judge Cigarettes baseball card from 1887 has sold for $1,371. 

The lot depicts Art Whitney, an otherwise largely forgotten batter who was with the New York Giants from 1888 to 1889.

What makes it special, is the fact that Whitney is playing with a small dog – possibly a mascot.

Art Whitney Judge

This hugely popular card shows Art Whitney in his New York Giants days

Over the years the card has grown immensely popular, resulting in prices in the low $1,000s - well above the sums paid for Old Judge cards featuring certain Hall of Famers.

This example appeared in an auction hosted by the Mile High Card Company in Castle Rock, Colorado last night. 

The late Bob Lemke, author of the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards, wrote in 2009: “The card featured here is one of my all-time favorite baseball cards of any era...

“Whitney is shown on this card with the New York Giants (he appears in the same photo on a slightly earlier Old Judge card, on which he is identified as a member of the team then called the Pittsburg Alleghenys). 

“Whitney is also pictured, you will notice, looking like he is having a game of fetch with a curly coated little mutt...

“One winter I spent a lot of hours poring over microfilm of The Sporting News and The Sporting Life weekly newspapers trying to determine whether the Pittsburgh team of the late 1880s had a canine mascot, but could not find any mention of such.”

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