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1872 Grizzly vs. Eagle Trophy Ball
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,057.50
In July 1872 the Grizzly ball club defeated the Eagle ball club by a score of 17-15. The site of the game, the players who participated in it, and the spectators who attended are apparently lost to the sands of time. That fact aside, it is a game that will never be forgotten due to the survival of this rare relic: a decorated trophy ball commemorating that contest. The white painted ball is decorated in two-tone red and black letters and reads "Grizzly - 17 - Eagle - 15 - July 27th - 1872." While the Grizzly and Eagle ball clubs were not members of the National Association, they were most likely playing under the organization's guidelines. In 1872 the National Association amended its rules and declared that a baseball must weigh between five and five and a quarter ounces and its circumference must be between nine and nine and a quarter inches. This particular ball, which features a "figure-eight" stitch pattern, weighs in at 5.5 ounces (the heavy lead paint obviously adds some slight weight) and its circumference measures 9 inches, both well within Association standards for the time. The ball is slightly soiled and displays numerous fine cracks to its white painted surface as well as two small tears along the seams. The red and black lettering remains bold and legible. Nineteenth-century trophy balls, regardless of the teams, are very rare and highly prized by collectors today. This particular ball, dating from early 1870s, is a very interesting, attractive, and unique example. This is a rare collecting opportunity to acquire an early trophy ball of high quality, at a very modest level compared to the many thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that more significant trophy balls involving the game's most prominent teams sell for when available. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $1,057.50
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