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    1886 Detroit Wolverines Team Cabinet Photograph. Simply extraordinary image captures a franchise on the brink of a World Championship, as the 1887 edition would first claim the National League pennant, and then victory in what is considered a "pre-World Series" over the American Association pennant-winning St. Louis Browns. This 1886 team gave hints of the success to come, compiling a record of 87-36, a staggering .707 winning percentage, which would ultimately prove only good enough for the runner-up position behind the pennant-winning Chicago White Stockings.

    Two gentlemen pictured among the roster of fourteen in this wonderful studio shot should be familiar to any baseball historian or Cooperstown tourist. First baseman Dan Brouthers (middle row, second from left) was the 19th century's premier slugger, earning top rankings for slugging percentage and home run tally for the 1886 campaign, during which he set a National League record with fifteen total bases in a single game on September 10th. Ned Hanlon (center row, third from right) would soon earn fame as manager of the early 1890's World Champion Baltimore Orioles, spawning future Hall of Fame skippers Wilbert Robinson, John McGraw and Hughie Jennings, who studied beneath him.

    This photo first surfaced in Pokagon, Michigan, and an included letter of provenance from the family of the owner surmises that a relative had been an acquaintance of pitcher Claude Baldwin (top row, second from right) who also resided within that town. The sepia image measures 5x7" in size and is affixed to an 8x10" cardboard mount that identifies all players and the photographer as "Tomlinson" of Detroit. Scattered staining should be evident in our catalog photography, and a small strip of ancient tape at upper left corner repairs a small defect to the emulsion. Some handwriting appears on verso of the mount, which shows some wear at the corners. The overall aesthetics remain quite strong, however, and certainly one must forgive the occasional blemish garnered from over twelve decades of existence. It's one of the most exciting 19th century images to surface in the hobby in recent memory, and we should assume we'll likely never see another.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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