Rare 1873 Boston Base Ball Club Team Cabinet Card SGC 30 Good 2. In the 1870's Baseball was still a growing adolescent with some growing pains to endure. Before becoming the National League, the National League fielded teams with the Boston Red Stockings making their debut in 1871. The squad was driven by brothers and Baseball pioneers Harry and George Wright and the seemingly unstoppable arm of a 20-something named Albert Spalding. Success came quickly as the team was National Association Champions in 1872, 1873, 1874 and 1875. Like the proverbial boy who took his ball and went home, the Association folded only to form the National League where the team evolved into the current Atlanta Braves. This lineage is among the longest in the history of our national pastime. By 1873, Boston was a two-time Champion, well on their way to a third with a 43-16 with 41 wins credited to Spalding and Harry Wright "picking up the slack." To honor their success, this rare cabinet card was produced showcasing 11 members of that powerhouse squad. Each man is dressed-to-kill in their formal attire, a name below each oval shaped portrait identifies each player. Included are five future Hall of Famers Jim O'Rourke, Al Spalding, Deacon White, George Wright and Harry Wright plus Ross Barnes, Dave Birdsall, Andy Leonard, Jack Manning, Harry Schafer and Charlie Sweasy.

    The card mount is a mere 3-1/4" x 5" which seems too small a canvas to honor such a successful team. The front shows little wear or staining, the lone printing is the title "BOSTON BASE 1873 BALL CLUB." The reverse has one quarter-size area of surface roughness/loss in what appears to be a where adhesive once kept this relic firmly inside some lavish Victorian-era scrapbook. This also accounts for the SGC 30 Good 2 assessment. Small-sized text credits the photographer, a studio from Boston called "Richardson, Photo." The central image has remained impeccably nice with just two very faint imperfections in the lower right we mention for strict accuracy. The image has faded some - after all it is over 140 years old - but nice detail can still be seen in clothing, faces and hair. It is so rare to find a memento from the earliest years of our treasured history, produced in a time when our country as a whole was still recovering from the effects of the Civil War. For the baseball historian, this is a priceless addition to any collection large or small.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
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