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Lot # 666 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1890 Players League Opening Day Invitation Phila. vs. Boston

Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $2,204.00

Spectacular "Inaugural Opening" 1890 Players League invitation to the "Opening Game of the Championship Series " between Boston and Philadelphia. Of course, 1890 was the first and only year of the renegade Players League. When this elaborately designed baseball-shaped invitation was printed and sent to dignitaries and special friends of the The Players League Club of Philadelphia, expectations were high. The Boston Club, led by Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers, Mike "King" Kelly, and Old Hoss Radbourn, went on to win the Players League Championship, but the greater battle, for economic freedom from the owners and the oppressive reserve clause was, in the end, lost. The significance of the Players League will always live on, as the first serious competing Major League and challenge to baseball's reserve clause. The elaborate design of the invitation features a unique game-in-progress illustration on the obverse, with very detailed grandstands in the background. The reverse has the actual invitation, with details, including the names of the directors of the club, scripted in very stylized print. Both sides are designed with stitched seams like a baseball. All Players League items are extremely rare. Very little has survived, especially of significance. This is the only "Inaugural Opening" Players League invitation we have ever seen. In addition to its tremendous design, display value, and historical significance, it captures the excitement, hope, and spirit of optimism for the League's success as the Players League's first and only season began. Diameter: 5.5 inches. Bright and clean, with a single tiny surface abrasion on reverse not affecting design and mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy, otherwise in Excellent condition. Reserve $800. Estimate $1,500/$2,500. SOLD FOR $2,204.00


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