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Before they were the Dodgers...1900 Brooklyn Superbas National League Champions Photographic Composite. Extraordinary turn-of-the-century relic is the first we've ever encountered, and quite possibly the only surviving specimen on the face of the Earth. A fitting tribute to the team that earned the final National League flag of the 19th century, this stunning amalgam of period aesthetics and diamond achievement rates among the finest display pieces ever to emerge from the game's celebrated Dead Ball Era. Its remarkable state of preservation likewise exceeds all but a handful of paper collectibles of such an advanced age.
Of the seventeen gentlemen whose photographic portraits in formal attire comprise the primary focus of the display, several should be instantly recognizable to the educated baseball historian. At center we encounter the mustached personages of Charles Ebbets, still a dozen seasons short of completing his eponymous ballpark, and Hall of Fame manager Ned Hanlon, the most influential skipper of the professional game's first half century.
Just above the pair we find team captain and posthumous 1971 Cooperstown inductee Joe Kelley (misspelled "Kelly), whose six home runs led all Brooklynites this year. Immediately to the right is Hughie Jennings, one of three Hanlon disciples (along with John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson) to enter the Hall as a manager, though he serves as the Superbas' first sacker here. And, rounding out the cast of enshrinees is "Wee Willie" Keeler, who "hit 'em where they [weren't]" a National League-topping 204 times in 1900. Total strikeouts for Keeler: four.
The piece is professionally matted and framed to approximately 28x33" in size, leaving a viewable area of 17.5x23". The display has not been examined out of the frame, but we are pleased to report that very minor water spotting at the upper right border represents the entirety of visible condition issues, with not a tear, crease or wrinkle to mention. Lower left is marked, "Copyrighted 1900, Gardner & Co., Brooklyn, N.Y." An absolutely dazzling rarity for the uncompromising hobbyist. Third party shipping required.
*A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas