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1871 Chicago White Stockings F. A. Pierce & Co. Advertising Card
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $15,080.00
CDV team card of the 1871 Chicago White Stockings, issued by Chicago baseball goods store F. A. Pierce & Company, one of a series of team cards featuring composite photographs of Major League teams of the then brand new National Association of Professional Baseball Players. Tilted "Chicago B.B.C., 1871" and including Jas. Woods, Fred Treacy, and George Zettlein. The Chicago White Stockings were in first place late in the season of the National Association's inaugural year when their quest for the pennant was undermined by Mrs. O'Leary's cow. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 not only destroyed their home stadium but their homes, uniforms, and equipment as well. The team was forced to finish their season on the road in the East, borrowing uniforms from other teams as they went along. The disruption to their schedule and routines greatly affected their play on the field. They would go on to lose the championship to the Philadelphia Athletics on the very last day of the season at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Prior to the recent discovery of four additional team cards from this set (see previous lots), there have been several F. A. Pierce & Co. cards that have surfaced over the years, but all have been the Chicago team. That is why Chicago is the only team listed in The Standard Catalog and for years it was assumed that this was probably a "one-card set." This seemed all the more reasonable in light of the fact that F. A. Pierce was a sporting goods company located in Chicago, but in retrospect, the fact that several Chicago team cards are known (and previous to the recent find, no non-Chicago teams had ever surfaced) is simply the result of team cards of the local Chicago White Stockings being more in demand in Chicago. This is just one of four examples of the Chicago team that are known to exist. Robert Edward Auctions sold this example approximately twenty years ago. We are fortunate that our inquiry to the owner about the possibility of offering this card along the four newly discovered cards met with a positive response, allowing us to present all five different J. A. Pierce & Co. team cards known to exist in private hands in the same auction. This is quite a famous card in baseball literature, being the very same example illustrated in the book Baseball in the Nineteenth Century published by The Society For American Baseball Research in 1984. Of the four known examples of the Chicago team, two are trimmed. This is almost certainly the finest F. A. Pierce & Company card of any team known in terms of condition, and has a special significance to baseball history due to its connection to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Crisp, bright, and perfectly clean, both front and back. Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (Open). SOLD FOR $15,080.00
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