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1924 World's Colored Championship Official Program, 1st Negro League World Series!...

2011 November 10-11 Vintage Sports Collectibles Signature Auction- Dallas #7041

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Auction Ended On: Nov 11, 2011
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

1924 World's Colored Championship Official Program, 1st Negro League World Series! Extraordinary rarity is the first to surface in the collecting hobby since a considerably inferior example was sold as part of the 1999 Barry Halper auction. It derives from the family of Ed Bolden, who founded and owned the Hilldale Club of the 1910's and 1920's, and the Philadelphia Stars of the 1930's-50's. His first club, the Champions of the Eastern Colored League, would fall victim to the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League by a tally of five games to four (and one tie on account of darkness) in this inaugural Negro League World Series. The contest was as star-studded as any ever waged during the days of segregated ball, with three Hilldale players (Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson and Louis Santop) and two Monarchs players (Bullet Rogan and Jose Mendez). Monarchs team owner J.L. Wilkinson is likewise today a Cooperstown enshrinee.

The program is surprisingly large and detailed for its Negro League derivation, with its twenty-four pages packed with player bios and photographs, and matching team photos of the warring factions at center. An unmarked scorecard appears at interior front cover. The inside rear cover notes the dates and four locations of the Series, indicating that this program was intended for use at each of the games. It must be noted however that the attendance at each game ranged from a minimum 584 (Game 4) to a maximum of 8,885 (Game 6), so the supply of these programs was never large, even at the time of creation.

The first half of the twentieth century was an era of considerable hardship for the African-American population, and it's little surprise that little memorabilia from the Negro Leagues have survived to the modern hobby. The stunning condition of this hugely important relic, with light handling wear to the cover the only issue bearing mention. You can bet the farm that there is no superior specimen on earth, and it's likely that all surviving examples could be counted on a single hand. Add the ideal provenance from the family of the Hilldale owner and this is unquestionably one of the most desirable artifacts from segregated ball ever to reach the public auction block. Letter of provenance from the Ed Bolden estate.

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