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1896-97 Page Fence Giants Ad Card SGC 50 VG/EX 4 - The Finest Known Example. Graded 50 VG/EX 4 by SGC, the highest graded example of only three recorded examples. The Page Fence Giants got their name from the team sponsor, the Page Woven Wire Fence Company of Adrian, Michigan. Today, there is almost nothing that exists featuring the Giants, even though they were the dominant club of the era, or any other Negro League team. Led by Negro League legend Charlie Grant, the Giants won 82 consecutive games in 1897. Grant had a light enough complexion to pass for Native American. Using the name "Tokohama," Grant was very close to signing a professional contract with the 1901 Baltimore Orioles as a Native American which would have made manager John McGraw the "Branch Rickey" of his age. The plan failed and Grant was banned from "white" professional baseball. This bitter episode motivated other black teams to form during the early 20th century. So far, this is the only 19th Century advertising card known to feature a Negro League baseball team, another indication of their significance. They were the 1927 Yankees of the time. The 4-1/2" x 5-1/2" size contradicts the immense significance this mere "trade card" truly holds. The front clearly identifies each player; Page Woven Wire Fence Company advertising adorns the back of the sturdy card stock. Considering the monumental success the team achieved in 1897, it is entirely possible this item dates to that exact year but that has not been confirmed. The card has light corner wear and thin line of wrinkling barely affecting the boldly printed image of the historical team. Other than a couple small spots of staining, this is a solid accurately assessed middle-grade collectible. A piece like this elevates any 19th Century collection to elite status.

Service and Handling Description: Sportscard (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
April, 2009
Internet/Mail Bidders: 6
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