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Lot # 1246 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

LOT WITHDRAWN - 1894 Boston Nationals Imperial Team Display Photograph

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For -

Please note: This lot has been withdrawn from the auction due to an issue relating to title.

Original large-format professional studio Imperial photograph capturing the 1894 Boston Nationals in a classic team pose. Sixteen team members are pictured here including manager Frank Selee, who is nattily attired in suit and bowler, Hugh Duffy, Tommy McCarthy, Kid Nichols, Bobby Lowe, and Billy Nash. The photographer's copyright stamp, "Copyrighted 1894 G. Waldon Smith," appears in white lettering along the lower left border. The 1894 Boston Beaneaters remain one of baseball's most memorable clubs due to their incredible offensive performance. Led by the incomparable Hugh Duffy, who captured the Triple Crown with a record .440 average, 18 home runs and 145 RBI, the team set a Major League record by scoring 1,220 runs in only 132 games. (In comparison, the 1927 Yankees scored 975 runs in 154 games.) Seven different players scored over 100 runs, including Duffy's team high of 160, and, not surprisingly, the club was never shutout. The only thing more remarkable than their offensive output was the fact that they finished in third place. Despite their gaudy numbers, the club, which had captured the National League pennant the previous three seasons, finished eight games behind the Baltimore Orioles. A number of reasons have been offered to explain their fall from the top, including a thin pitching staff, but the most important was probably the loss of veteran catcher Charlie Bennett prior to the season. Bennett lost both his legs in a train accident in January 1894 and the tragedy not only weighed heavily on the minds of the players but also deprived them of one of their most valuable players. Also, in May, the team's South End Grounds were burnt to the ground in a horrific fire that destroyed over 170 neighboring buildings. Regardless of their final place in the standings, the team will forever live on in the the record books as the single greatest offensive team in the history of the game. Imperial team photographs from the 1880s, of course, are extremely rare, but from the 1890s even rarer, almost nonexistent. We do not recall seeing another example of this photo. The photograph (15.74 x 11.25 inches), which offers outstanding clarity and contrast, displays light crazing throughout, as well as numerous minor tears, some of which have been restored. Light toning along the borders is evident as a result of the photo having long ago been matted. The photograph has been mounted to a heavy cardboard backing which has effectively ameliorated many of the piece's aforementioned flaws. Despite a technical grade of Good, the photograph remains striking in its appearance and projects an Excellent overall appearance. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR


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