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Lot # 726 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1880 Worcester Base Ball Club National League Membership Application Letter

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $13,920.00

Historically significant 1880 letter in which the Worcester Base Ball Club formally applies for admission to the National League. The one-page handwritten letter, penned upon official Worcester Base Ball Club letterhead, is dated January 7, 1880 and written to Nicholas Young, who was then serving as secretary of the National League. Composed by club treasurer Freeman Brown, the letter reads in full: "N. E. Young Esq, Washington D. C. Dear Sir - Enclosed please find an unconditional application of the Worcester Base Ball Club for admission to the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs. If you will put it in the proper channel for action by the association you represent and notify us of the result - you will greatly oblige. Yours Truly Freeman Brown - Clerk + Treasurer Worc BBC." Both the text and signature have been scripted in blue fountain pen and grade "8/9." It seems clear by the first sentence that the club also sent additional documents with this cover letter (which have since been separated); however, the club's formal request is plainly stated here. The National League first began play in 1876, and any documents relating to its early history are not only extremely rare, but highly significant to historians and collectors. Worcester's application was eventually accepted and they joined the National League that spring, replacing Syracuse in the eight team league. The club remained a National League member for the next three season before folding. In 1880 they placed fifth in the standings with a respectable 40-43 record, but slipped to the cellar in 1881 with a 32-50 record. Their final year as a Major League team must have been very painful. Not even three changes in managers during the 1882 season could keep them out of the cellar with a dismal 18-66 record. This letter originates directly from the estate of National League secretary Nicholas Young, who later ascended to the presidency of the League (1885-1902). The letter (8 x 10.5 inches) has normal mailing folds and is in Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $13,920.00

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