Spotted Ties: Series Guide

Set Description:

  • Spotted Ties is a subseries of the Beginnings: 1880s: Base Set series of Ars Longa Art Cards
  • The Spotted Ties subseries was inspired by two unique and nested groupings of cards within the original Old Judge (N172) series: the Script Series and the Spotted Ties

Old Judge (N172)

  • All of the images used to make the Spotted Tie cards are original to the Old Judge (N172) series
  • Issued from 1886 to 1890 by Goodwin & Co. in packs of Old Judge and Gypsy Queen cigarettes, the Old Judge series depicts at least 520 different players, managers, owners and umpires from more than 40 major and minor league teams
  • More than 2,500 variations of these cards have been documented and previously unknown cards are discovered every year
  • Perhaps the greatest documentary of baseball in the 19th century and a permanent cornerstone of the baseball card hobby, the Old Judge series contains a trove of images that preserve and convey the unique character and characters of baseball during the sport’s pioneering heyday
  • Old Judge cards measure 1.5″ by 2.5″

The Old Judge Script Series

  • In 1886, Goodwin & Co. quietly debuted a 52-card series of tobacco picture cards featuring baseball players and boxers
  • The athletes’ names were written in script on the cards, hence the series is known today as the Script Series
  • The Script Series contains 35 known baseball poses and 17 known boxing poses
  • Little did anyone know in 1886 that these 35 baseball picture cards would be the foundation for a four year marketing campaign that would produce a huge and massively diverse collection of at least 2,500 baseball images we now call the Old Judges . . . .
    . . . . Nevermind the bedrock for an entire industry and hobby that would flourish for the next 130 years

The Old Judge Spotted Ties

  • Of the 35 baseball cards in the Script Series, 16 feature players from the 1886 New York Metropolitans, all of whom don a polka-dotted handerkerchief-cum-necktie in formal portrait
  • Today, this fairly obscure subseries of the Script Series is known as the Spotted Ties
  • The 1886 New York Metropolitans were not . . . good. The team won 53 games, lost 82, finished 7th out of 8, and disbanded a year later
  • As one might expect for a team with such a devastating lack of talent, the roster was heavy with fringe major league players
  • Not surprisingly, 7 of the 16 Spotted Ties’ subjects – Behel, Brady, Hankinson, McLaughlin, Nelson, Reipschlager & Roseman – here make their only known Old Judge appearance
  • The series is not without its grail however, as the criminally forgotten and tragedy-befallen superstar Dave Orr makes an appearance with his only known portrait photograph

Ars Longa: Spotted Ties

  • To honor the importance of the Script Series within the humble roots of our beloved hobby, I decided to recreate the entire Spotted Ties subset of Old Judge cards
  • All 16 of the original Old Judge Spotted Ties are included in the Ars Longa: 1880s: Spotted Ties subseries of art cards
  • The Spotted Ties retain many of the design elements of the 1880s: Base Set, including the same dimensions, but feature a distinct background, a unique type-set and an off-center name placement

Before & After:

Tom McLaughlin
Old Judge

Tom McLaughlin
Spotted Tie

Frank Hankinson
Old Judge

Frank Hankinson
Spotted Tie

Card Reverses:

  • The Spotted Tie: 1886 Metropolitans of New York design has been used on the backs of all Spotted Tie cards from 2016 to present
  • The Spotted Tie: 1886 Metropolitans of New York design was inspired by an original Old Judge Cigarettes graphic design
  • The copyright & date stamp on the Spotted Tie reverse is updated yearly.
Goodwin & Co.
Original Old Judge
Picture Card Reverse
Old Judge Cigarettes

Ars Longa Art Cards
Metropolitans of New York
Spotted Tie Reverse
2016 to present

Size, Weight, Design, History & Status:

  • Dimensions: 1.75″ x 3″
  • Thickness: 24 pts
  • GSM: 300
  • Current Number in Set: 16 Cards
  • Inspiration: Old Judge (N172) Spotted Ties
  • Designed: June, 2016
  • Introduced: June, 2016
  • Completed: August, 2016
  • Current Status: Active
  • Current Frequency of Release: One of each card per year