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Old 11-17-2018, 10:52 PM
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Default Kid Nichols Rookie Card?

For those who collect rookie cards (I do not) what is considered Kid Nichols rookie card? I have argued with a friend that the Old Judge card is his rookie. My friend says it is his Mayo card. Which one of us is right (or is there a third choice)? Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:15 PM
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Default Not 1988 Donruss! :)

I think its a more of "take your pick" between:

1889 N172 Old Judge
1889 N173 Old Judge Cabinets

The N300 Mayo Cut Plug was 1895 or thereabouts?

Just my opinion.

Peace, Mike

Last edited by vtgmsc; 11-17-2018 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:47 PM
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I agree, but the Old Judge card’s of Kid Nichols are “minor league” cards from his time in the Western Association.
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldjudge View Post
I agree, but the Old Judge card’s of Kid Nichols are “minor league” cards from his time in the Western Association.
I think that’s the main issue here. I don’t collect rookie cards either, but I gather that nowadays, when there are so many cards issued of minor league prospects, “rookie card” has been (re-)defined to mean the first card issued after a player was promoted to the majors; anything earlier than that is a “pre-rookie” card. So Nichols’s OJs would be considered pre-rookie cards by this definition, with his Mayo being his “true” rookie card. These are all pretty arbitrary distinctions as far as I’m concerned, but I guess they’re potentially relevant for people who collect Hall of Fame rookie cards
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:37 AM
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I do not collect or follow much of the 19th century stuff but the argument for the ages in the hobby will always be defining a rookie card. To me, it is the first time the player is recognized on a piece of card stock for promotional purposes. Minor league or major league distinction is not important to me. I am sure many would not agree.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:16 AM
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Just to muddy the waters even more is that even in Kid Nichols' Mayo card he is actually shown wearing his Omaha jersey (with some 1890's era "Photoshop" work having been done to change the uniform). Thus even in the "Major League" card of Nichols he is being pictured from years earlier with the Omaha Omahogs, while listed for Boston!

I have never really cared about which team they are pictured with (especially 19th Century cards) and in my opinion his Old Judge cards are his "rookie cards," also they were distributed along with Major League cards so I don't see them as being much different than when companies today include "Rated Rookies" of the new crop of prospects.

BTW, how awesome would it be to find a Nichols Old Judge with the 1890 "Boston N.L." designation!?!
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Last edited by rhettyeakley; 11-18-2018 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:05 AM
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Kevin Struss
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In my humble opinion:

1889 N172 Old Judge (Omaha WA) - Pre-Rookie
1889 N173 Old Judge (Omaha WA) - Pre Rookie

1895 N300 Mayo’s Cut Plug (Boston NL) - Rookie

Last edited by Baseball Rarities; 11-18-2018 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:00 AM
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I agree, Kevin.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
I think that’s the main issue here. I don’t collect rookie cards either, but I gather that nowadays, when there are so many cards issued of minor league prospects, “rookie card” has been (re-)defined to mean the first card issued after a player was promoted to the majors; anything earlier than that is a “pre-rookie” card. So Nichols’s OJs would be considered pre-rookie cards by this definition, with his Mayo being his “true” rookie card. These are all pretty arbitrary distinctions as far as I’m concerned, but I guess they’re potentially relevant for people who collect Hall of Fame rookie cards
So, is mark McGwire's 1985 Topps card now a pre-rookie card? What about Carl Yastrzemski's 1960 Topps card since he didn't play in the majors until 1961? A player's rookie card has always been his first card issued in a nationally released major league set. It doesn't matter if the player was in the majors yet or not. So, by definition Nichol's OJ would be his true rookie card. I am not sure where your definition comes from, I have been in the hobby 50+ years, that is a new one.
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:07 AM
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As suggested by the posts above it just depends on whether you think of "rookie" as designating the status of the player (in which case it should be from his rookie season, or at least no earlier) or the card itself. So the Mayo is a reasonable choice, but no more than a 1995 Topps Derek Jeter.

I collect rookie cards, not of HOFers per se, but of the top 50 players. Naturally that includes mostly HOFers but not most HOFers. It includes players as far back as Anson and as recent as Trout, and I wanted consistent criteria that made sense for everyone so I went with first actual MLB year with a card.

For Nichols that's the 1895 Mayo. The OJ is a great card -- the best player in the best set of the 19th century -- but I don't want a collection of minor league cards. If I only collected pre-war I probably wouldn't concern myself with the minor/major distinction and would just go for the earliest card, but that's just not how I collect. What he's wearing in the picture doesn't factor in for me. Some of these rookie cards don't show the player in uniform at all. Jeter is also irrelevant since he's well outside of the top 50 players. Not that you asked, but I don't like to miss an opportunity to point out how overrated Yankees other than Ruth have been.
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