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Old 10-13-2018, 03:56 PM
Misunderestimated Misunderestimated is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 164
Default Where are the OJs of Pete Browning -The Original "Louisville Slugger" ?

I have wondered for many years why it is that Old Judge cards of Browning are almost never on the open market. According the OJ book there are five poses. He is listed as a "scarce card" (like HOFer Amos Rusie) but not a "very scarce card" (like HOFer Bid McPhee, for example) He ranks somewhere around the 75-100th most rare subject in the set. This conclusion may have been revised by the OJ mavens since publication back a decade ago.
According to VCP there are no sale prices for any of the Brownings N172's listed...
These lack of sales are consistent with my experience.
The closest I ever came to actually buying a Browning OJ card was a nearly decapitated one that TIK & TIK (Terry Knouse, Sr.) had in his case many years ago ... it was about 2/3 of a card ... I don't recall ever seeing any other Brownings for sale in anyone else's cases back when I attended shows more than once every few years. I have never seen one at the Nationals that I attend when it is held in Chicago (Rosemont).

I understand that Browning is a desired OJ subject -- he's not in any other commonly available issues. But, again, the same applies to McPhee who is a HOFer and his cards do appear on the open market with some frequency.

Is it just that Browning is so rare, or is something else at work? Does someone or someones have a standing "buy order" on any Brownings that surfaces in the OJ collecting community? Is this a bit of minor league conspiracy theorizing on my part?
BTW-- If you don't know about Pete Browning he has a fascinating and sad story (see Wikipedia etc -- ... He was the original "Louisville Slugger"
Also, he's got great stats in that 19th Century American Association hitter kind of way --> See Baseball reference -
... He's has a lifetime .341 average with a .400+ season in 1887.

He's not really HOF material in my book, but that's another thread.
This is not really a request to buy a Browning. My sense is that the price would be too high given my collecting priorities at the moment but I do wonder what that price is...
In conclusion, any further information would be appreciated to help satisfy my long-festering curiosity.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:03 PM
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oldjudge oldjudge is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: The Bronx
Posts: 3,368

Hi Brian! Speaking only for myself, if we rewrote the book today there would be several changes in the rarities section, with Browning being one. What you are experiencing is a function of how scarce some Old Judges really are. I can list quite a few cards that, baring Dave Levin’s two historic finds, I haven’t seen offered for sale in ten to fifteen years. Many of those are not popular players. Browning is both very scarce and very popular. If I am reading the pop reports correctly (the SGC pop report for Old Judges is a disaster) there are seven graded copies of Browning. I know of over ten raw copies. Putting those together, I would guess that there are roughly five copies of each pose in private collections, or about 25 copies total. That wouldn’t put the card in the rare class, but it would put it in the very scarce class, especially since I don’t see the cards in advanced collections coming to market any time soon.

Last edited by oldjudge; 10-13-2018 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:21 PM
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z28jd z28jd is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,876

I think the lack of his cards for sale is a combo of the rarity, his popularity, plus the potential for him to make the Hall of Fame. No one wants to be the person who sells a Hall of Famer from the OJ set before they make the Hall. Cards instantly skyrocket in prices. The popularity makes him someone who people keep longer.
Check out some Pittsburgh Pirates history
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:50 PM
Misunderestimated Misunderestimated is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 164

Thanks for the Update Jay !

As to the "potential HOFer" angle -- I think Browning is long shot HOF candidate...But if you collect 19th Century stars he is a must (and good luck!)

The current leading HOF candidate who played in the 19th Century is Dahlen (he came close last time they had a vote)... The other 19th century players who have gotten the most ink include Glasscock, Mullane and Stovey.

The process for electing early baseball players (pre-1949) to the HOF warrants its own thread.

The next vote is in 2020 ...
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