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1874 Philadelphia Athletics Team Cabinet Card With Cap Anson and Al Reach
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $43,500.00
This extremely rare team cabinet card pictures the 1874 Philadelphia Athletics as they pose together in a formal studio setting. While exceptional in its own right, this particular photo is also of great additional significance as it was the image used to create the famous woodcut engraving of the Athletics that appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1874. Among the players pictured are a young Cap Anson (22 years old, in his fourth Major League season), ace pitcher Dick McBride, Albert Reach (of sporting goods fame), Ezra Sutton, John McMullin, Tim Murnane, Mike McGeary, Wes Fisler, Joe Battin and John Clapp. All of the players have been identified in black ink along either the left or right border along with a corresponding number noted upon their image. The neatly written notation "Athletic of Philada - 1874" appears in ink along the base of the mount. An additional notation, reading "Went to Europe - 1874," is written on the front left border. The latter notation is quite correct and of special significance, for the Philadelphia Athletics joined the Boston Red Stockings that summer in a trip to England to compete in a series of exhibition matches. The tour, which took place during the first three weeks of August, is extremely important in that it represents the first overseas baseball tour in the history of the game. That celebrated tour also witnessed the teams competing in a number of cricket matches against local clubs. Advertising for Philadelphia photographer Suddards & Fennmore ("No 820 Arch Street, Philadelphia") appears on the reverse, along with a few light, vintage notations identifying the team ("Athletic Base Ball Club of Phila 1874"). The cabinet card (6.5 x 4.25 inches) has a few minor imperfections including a couple light creases, a few tiny areas of staining on the mount (primarily along the left border), as well as identifying notations. Despite the technical faults, the photo displays exceptional clarity and contrast and its visual appeal is largely unaffected by the aforementioned condition faults. This is very early for a traditional posed team cabinet card. In fact, we believe this is the earliest posed cabinet card of any Major League team known (a cabinet card of the 1874 Boston team is also known), as well as the only example of this significant team cabinet we have ever seen. This is an extraordinary team cabinet card, featuring one of the participants in baseball's first overseas tour, and including many great early stars such as Al Reach (who appears on very few cards). Without reference to the period identifying notations, the cabinet card is overall in Very Good condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $43,500.00
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