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Circa 1908 Original Rube Goldberg Baseball Cartoon Artwork
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,997.50
Original baseball cartoon artwork, circa 1908, by noted cartoonist Rube Goldberg. This piece, in addition to Goldberg's normal signature within the body of the cartoon, also includes a gold pen personalization by the artist: "To my friend Max Reese." Rube Goldberg is best known today for the creation of his zany cartoon contraptions, commonly referred to as "Rube Goldberg Devices." Those works, which he first began drawing in 1915, remain among the most popular cartoons ever created and have been reproduced in countless books and magazines. Prior to that, however, Goldberg toiled as a sports cartoonist for the New York Evening Mail , joining the paper in 1907. Offered here is one of his original sports cartoons penned during that early portion of his career. The cartoon makes note of a game between the Giants and the Pirates at the Polo Grounds, with the caption below reading "Thrilling melodrama to be enacted at the Polo Grounds this afternoon, 'The Pirates Revenge' or 'Why the desperado was handed the refrigerator optic.'" The cartoon makes mention of a number of players by name including Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson ("Matty"), Mike Donlin, and manager John McGraw. Although undated, it almost certainly refers to a series that took place late in the 1908 season based upon the players mentioned. The Giants, Pirates and Cubs were in a fierce three-way struggle for the pennant that season, a race that ultimately went to the Cubs. This cartoon was most likely published during the four-game series between the teams that began on September 18th. The Pirates and Giants split that series; however, the following series between the Giants and Cubs ultimately decided the pennant. In that fateful series the famous "Merkle's Boner" incident occurred that cost the Giants a victory. That play ultimately came back to haunt the Giants, as they finished tied with the Cubs at the end of the season and then lost the pennant to them in a playoff game. The cartoon (24 x 13 inches), rendered in pen, remains in Excellent condition overall and has been matted and framed to total dimensions of 29 x 18 inches. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $1,997.50
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