This is the last card I got from my davidbvintage New Year's Eve haul. It's an Allen & Ginter card. The BIG one. The one I was scared to death I'd have to drop a hundred bucks on. Behold:
N28 THE WORLD'S CHAMPIONS
Check out that motherfucking mustache!!! And the eyes! He's got crazy eyes! That man is gonna kick your ass at snooker, beat your ass with a pool cue and then tickle your girlfriends ass with that amazing mustache while you watch broken and bleeding. I'm not kidding either, poor Joe ended up in an asylum suffering from paresis. He was one of the leading billiards players of his time though and is credited with boosting the popularity of the game in America.
Man it feels good to have this card. I kept seeing some pretty hefty prices for any N28's out there since the baseball players give this set a pretty high profile. This one's in great condition too, it's clean, no problems on the front and just a couple of glue spots and paper loss on the back. I have maybe two other cards that are in this good shape. Plus I can see King Kelly's name on the back. Just having a nineteenth century card that says "Mike Kelly" on it is a thrill, even if I'll never get an original one that has it on the front. This is the set that Topps ganked the design from for their own Allen & Ginter set. Here's Brian McCann lending a hand to compare the 1888 and 2006 versions.
The old-school lithography is heads and shoulders above Topps in terms of how good the card looks, but overall they did a pretty good job copying the style. There's a much warmer feel to the older cards, the colors are definitely better. A lot of the new A&G cards make the players look a little nauseous with the greenish tint on their faces. Still a good job on the newbie cards. Here's the back:
The impressive part here is how Topps managed to copy the feel of the original backs while still making it useful to modern collectors. There's no way they could put a 300+ card checklist on the back and people want stats nowadays. Writing out the stats in words instead of numbers is kind of clunky out of context, but it mimics the back of the original really closely. The legalese at the bottom is about ten time the size of the lithographer's line on the original, but that's just how things work nowadays. All in all a great job by Topps in getting the feel of this set. Now for the bottom line. How much did this beast cost? I got it from davidbvintage for $19.38. WITHIN THE GOAL! I might just finish this sucker yet.