Description

    Exceedingly rare hardware from the top ace of the 1886 season!

    1886 St. Louis Browns World Championship Award Presented to Pitcher Dave Foutz. He got his start in the game with an amateur team on the edge of the Colorado lead mines where he labored in his youth, and was discovered by St. Louis Browns owner Chris von der Ahe as he pitched for a minor league club in Bay City, Michigan. Unusually tall and lanky at six-feet two inches and 160 pounds, Foutz earned the nickname "Scissors" and a reputation for dominance in those early professional years, so impressing von der Ahe that he purchased the entire Bay City franchise in order to secure the ace pitcher's contract.

    Foutz' habitual drinking and gambling would gradually dull the sharp edges of his elite skills--and claim his life at the tender age of forty--but for a brief Major League stretch Foutz proved himself worthy of his boss' affection. The year he helped lead the Browns to the American Association Championship, he led all pitchers in the key statistics of victories (41), winning percentage (.719) and earned run average (2.11). Foutz would lose the first game of the 1886 American Association championship series to Chicago White Sox legend John Clarkson before avenging the loss in a Game Four rematch to pull even at two games apiece.

    The Browns would not stumble again, claiming Game Five and the clinching Game Six to send the victors' World Championship awards into production. Presented is just the third example ever to appear on the hobby's major auction block, and the first offering in over a decade.

    If a more gorgeous celebration of baseball achievement has ever been crafted, we haven't seen it. Constructed from fourteen-karat (14k) gold and silver, the stunning multi-level pin transitions from a real diamond-studded crown topped by a figural ball-in-hand to twin banners enameled "St. Louis" and "Browns" and framing a golden laurel-wreathed victory figure. We descend along gold chains to the heftiest part of the display, which completes the text: "Champions of the World." Silver figures grasp laurels on either side of the globe above still more laurels and a pair of crossed bats.

    Splendid scripted engraving on verso supplies the player attribution: "Presented to David Foutz by the Citizens of St. Louis as a token of Esteem, 1886." The maker's stamping of "Mermod & Jaccard Jewelers" appears below. Brooch back. Total weight 30.6 grams.

    Condition is superb, literally as-new, and the pin remains housed in its original jewelry box along with a small pinback (.75 diameter) picturing Foutz, exactly as found. The pin is consigned to auction along with an array of personal ephemera from the Foutz family, a portion of which relates to Dave, but not to his baseball career. A letter of provenance from a Foutz family member will attend. Letter of provenance from great-nephew of Dave Foutz.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2017
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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