1891 Cy Young rookie cabinet card slams in $104,765 at auction

This cabinet card photo, one of only two of its type known to exist, represents Cy Young’s rookie period in baseball. The right-handed pitcher is pictured in a Cleveland Spiders uniform of the 1890s. Grey Flannel Auctions image

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A rare image of Cy Young, one of baseball’s most revered pitchers of all time, has sold for $104,765 in Grey Flannel’s July 17 Summer Games Auction. The 1891 cabinet card with a portrait of the baseball legend was taken by Cleveland photographer John H. Ryder. It is one of only two known to exist.

The rare image of Young, the winningest pitcher in baseball history, was unearthed recently from an album that was found in a factory almost 65 years ago. The consignor had no idea what the album’s contents were, to say nothing of the card’s rarity, according to Grey Flannel Auctions.

The rookie-era cabinet photo is possibly the first image ever produced of Young in a major league uniform. This specific image has been seen on a rare 1891 Cleveland Spiders team composite baseball schedule display, dating its origin to his first full season in professional baseball.

The card was encapsulated and graded PR1 by PSA/DNA.

Denton “Cy” Young, a native Ohioan, spent 22 seasons in the major leagues (1890-1911), amassing 511 wins. He had 16 seasons of 20 or more wins, 76 shutouts, and three no-hitters, including a perfect game. After every regular baseball season, the Cy Young Award is presented to the top pitcher in both the American and National League.

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