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Lot
80227

1914 - 15 J.H. Dugan Baseball Calendar Cabinet Cards Complete Set of Twelve-The Only Known Representations of this Issue!. ...

2013 November 7 - 9 Sports Collectible Catalog Auction - Dallas #7085

 
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Auction Ended On: Nov 7, 2013
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

Description:
1914 - 15 J.H. Dugan Baseball Calendar Cabinet Cards Complete Set of Twelve-The Only Known Representations of this Issue!
It was a baseball season best remembered for one of the most thrilling and unexpected underdog tales in the professional game's history, the hapless Boston Braves rising like a phoenix from its last place ashes on the Fourth of July to claim victory in seventy of its final eighty-nine contests. A World Series sweep of Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics was the final act of this remarkable story, earning that 1914 edition immortality as "The Miracle Braves."

But now, just a year short of its centennial, the year 1914 offers up yet another miracle to the baseball world, a gorgeous and singularly unique issue absent even from the comprehensive hobby volume The Standard Guide of Baseball Cards. Named for the Rutland, Vermont advertiser whose name appears on each of the twelve cabinet cards that comprise the set, the J.H. Dugan Baseball Calendar issue appears to have been a project stalled in its infancy, leaving just this (presumably) original proof set to tempt the modern collector.

The lack of widespread production is regrettable loss to the hobby, because the set ticks all the boxes that make for a desirable Dead Ball Era issue. Many consider this period of American history to be the Golden Age of illustration art, an era populated by the likes of Maxfield Parrish and James Montgomery Flagg, whose work is firmly installed in the national iconography. Though the identity of the artist employed to create the artworks utilized here has been lost to history, the skill and grace of the images are the equal of the best of the issue's tobacco and candy card contemporaries. Each boldly lithographed image measures a commanding 4.75x3.5" in size on its 10x5.50" slab of mid-weight card stock. The reverse of each card features a brief player biography with height, weight and playing statistics, affirming "baseball card" status (as opposed to mere calendar pages). Two punch holes at the top of each card allow the months of the calendar to be bound together as a year, though this binding is absent and likely was never implemented from the start. January 1915, likely due to having been most exposed to the elements at the top of the stack, exhibits a degree of foxing, but the balance of the cards reveals only light to moderate corner wear to suggest nearly a century of storage.

After aesthetics, size and condition, the heavy reliance on the sport's pantheon in casting is the final feather in this issue's cap, with seven of the twelve men pictured immortalized in Cooperstown bronze. The roster, as follows:

· June 1914: Chief Bender, Pitcher, Philadelphia Athletics. A Full Blood Chippewa Indian and the Most Dependable of Connie Mack's Pitchers.
· July 1914: Christy Mathewson, Pitcher, New York Giants. He Puts More Brains Into His Twirling Than Any Other Pitcher Alive.
· August 1914: Walter Johnson, Pitcher, Washington-American League. The Speediest Pitcher in Baseball History.
· September 1914: Eddie Collins, Second Baseman, Philadelphia Athletics. The Most Valuable Ball Player I Ever Saw, Says the Veteran John McGraw.
· October 1914: Ty Cobb, Outfielder, Detroit-American League. Leading Batter of the American League, and Styled 'King of Them All.'
· November 1914: Frank Baker, Third Baseman, Philadelphia Athletics. Nicknamed 'Home-Run' Baker, Because of His Wizard-Like Slugging in World's Series Battles.
· December 1914: Jimmy Archer, Catcher, Chicago Cubs. The Cubs' Peerless Catcher, and the Game's Greatest Performer in this Position.
· January 1915: Wallie Schang, Catcher, Philadelphia Athletics. One of the Most Sensational Catchers of Recent Years and the Greatest Find of the Past Season.
· February 1915: Tris Speaker, Outfielder, Boston Red Sox. One of the American League's Leading Batsmen, and in a Class by Himself in Fielding.
· March 1915: Jack Barry, Shortstop, Philadelphia Athletics. He and Collins Form the Quickest-Working Double Playing 'Machine' in Baseball.
· April 1915: Joe Jackson, Outfielder, Cleveland-American League. A Great Batter, a Good Fielder, a Fine Thrower and Fast on Bases.
· May 1915: John McInnes, First Baseman, Philadelphia Athletics. Connie Mack Changed Him Overnight From a Fine Shortstop to a Remarkable First Baseman.

It has now been nearly thirty years since this set surfaced upon a visit to the Oklahoma home of hobby pioneer Lloyd Hendrick by two veteran trading card experts. Sold privately, the set would later make its sole appearance on the hobby's auction block in a mid-1990's Wolfers of San Francisco sale, where it commanded a final bid of $82,000. Heritage has recently submitted the set for inclusion in the 2014 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards where it will make its formal debut, and is now privileged to present this singular issue to our collecting clientele.

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Service and Handling Description: Trading Card Set or Notebook, Large (view shipping information)

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