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1875 Prescott & White CDV Hartford Dark Blues SGC 80 EX/NM 6 - Newly Discovered Example! Nestled in between a pair of musty pages of a literary volume, an account of the battles of the Civil War, comes one of the more surprising new discoveries of recent years--a very rare, fresh and seemingly uncirculated CDV of the 1875 Hartford Dark Blues (or Blue Stockings), a card that features one of the more significant players of the 19th century in pitcher William "Candy" Cummings (1848-1924). Cummings (pictured in the back row, center) is given credit for inventing the curveball, now standard issue in the arsenal of every Major League pitcher.

The invention helped earn Cummings a place in Cooperstown among men who claim membership in the Hall thanks in part to his innovation. His role of president of the International League (the first minor league) cements his status as a true baseball pioneer. Photographic images of Cummings are almost non-existent. This CDV represents the only photo of Cummings made available during his baseball career. The Dark Blues finished second in 1875, bolstered by a career season for Cummings who went 35-12 with an eyebrow raising 1.60 ERA.

The first '75 Hartford Blues CDV's known portrayed the team in front of a blank, lifeless backdrop. In the Heritage Signature sale of April 2009 we offered the first known copy upon which the team is shown inside an elegantly decorated room, resulting in a aristocratic aura worthy of the now historic team. Of the handful of examples that have been made available at auction or that rest in private hands, this is only the second copy to offer this photo treatment. The team is posed in full uniform with a few holding a tool of their trade. An array of caps is dispersed as decoration.

This example is the second to earn a SGC 80 EX/NM 6 assessment, thanks to the fragile but loving pages. The photo is virtually mint. The image offers string detail quality and contrast. The thin card mount is 4.125x2.5" with barely discernable edge wear and one tiny surface "dot" on the obverse, which is all that keeps this amazing find from being the finest technically graded copy recorded to date. Hardly a second thought would be given had the label read "84 NM 7."

The flat black reverse surface is as perfect as one could dream from a 135+ year old artifact. The bottom area offers completely legible "Prescott & White" and "Hartford" gold metallic text identifying the photographer and studio location. A truly stunning card and a significant addition to the hobby collective.

Service and Handling Description: Sportscard (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
4th Thursday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,815

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Top notch. No complaints. Would consider no one else to handle my material.
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Cupertino, CA
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