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    The finest known example of the hobby's top panorama

    1911 Addie Joss Benefit Game Panoramic Photograph. Consider the factors that propel this piece to the pinnacle of the sports photography subgenre. First, of course, is the exceptional collection of talent captured on film. No fewer than nine Hall of Famers are pictured among the thirty-seven uniformed ballplayers: Cy Young (in his twenty-second and final season), Napoleon Lajoie, Walter Johnson, Bobby Wallace, Frank "Home Run" Baker, Sam Crawford, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, and Ty Cobb, who appears third from the right in borrowed Indians gear, his Tigers uniform still in his luggage which never made it off the train. And, of course, we cannot forget the great "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, essentially a rookie having played in only thirty games prior to this season. Each and every one of these legends, appearing in uniform in a period photograph, commands tremendous attention from collectors.

    But a congregation of Dead Ball gods such as this could only have happened on this single day, July 24, 1911, as the Cleveland Naps took on the best in the American League in what could justifiably be called the first All-Star Game. It was the tragic death from meningitis of Hall of Fame pitcher Addie Joss that brought this cast of immortals to League Park, the only time prior to the birth of the modern All-Star Game in 1933 that so many different Major League uniforms shared a single diamond.

    Next, we must remember how very rare this photograph was, even in 1911. The technology used to print these very special images was particularly expensive, and the run was very limited as a result. Each of the players pictured would have received a copy, and then a very small assortment of executives and VIP's. This example belonged to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Cleveland Naps from 1911 through 1916, and remained in that gentleman's family until it was sold in a 2005 Heritage auction.

    Finally, four years beyond the centennial of this historic baseball event, only a tiny handful of the original small supply still exists. Vintage photography has so many enemies--water damage, tearing, creasing, spring cleaning. The overwhelming majority of these prints long ago found a final resting place in the landfill, leaving he who can boast of one in his collection in truly elite company. But this remarkable specimen is effectively pristine, almost certainly the finest that exists, bar none.

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    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,342

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