The Hall of Fame player/manager is honored by his fans1906 Frank Chance Presentational Silverware & Cabinet Set. Though it was just the third World Series ever played, the 1906 edition continues to stand as one of the greatest upsets in Fall Classic history. Heavily favored were the National League representatives, a Chicago Cubs team whose 116-36 regular season record remains the highest winning percentage (.763) in Major League history. The role of underdog was played by a Chicago White Sox club that had miraculously claimed the pennant despite posting the worst team batting average in the American League, earning them the sardonic nickname "The Hitless Wonders." The Series remains the only all-Chicago edition.
Oddities abounded in this Series, beyond the David and Goliath aspect. The visiting team won each of the first five games, and Games One and Two were contested amidst snow flurries. Neither would happen again until the 1990's. The Cubs would go on to win the World Championship in 1907 and 1908, but here they fell in six games, only the second time all year that they had lost four of any six-game stretch.
Despite the disappointing finale of the season, the team was properly feted for their remarkable year two days after the Series' conclusion. The banquet was held at Chicago's Auditorium Hotel, a historic landmark built for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. There, in front of Tinker, Evers, Three Finger Brown and the rest of the Cubs team, manager Frank Chance was presented with this elegant silverware set and cabinet, the latter topped by an engraved plaque that reads,
"Presented to Frank L. Chance by admiring Chicago fans In appreciation of the excellent service rendered to the National Game and for the upholding of clean base ball, October 16, 1906."
The elegantly crafted cabinet stands thirty-seven inches tall, twenty-three inches in width, and twenty inches deep (37x23x20"). It survives in surprisingly fine condition, without any flaws of significant distraction.
Inside are 116 pieces of Lunt sterling silverware, each monogrammed with the letter "C" for the honoree. Light wear from use and/or storage are visible, but the set presents perfectly and is clearly worth a considerable sum of money as silverware alone, absent any historical context.
Included is a photocopy of the Last Will and Testament of Chance's widow who directs "my chest of flat silver, which was given to my husband during his lifetime by the people of Chicago" to "Merrill Braly Bessolo." A member of the Bessolo family consigns this lot, with their letter of provenance. Letter of provenance from family of heir listed in Edythe Chance will.
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