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Lot # 1166 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1885 Cabinet Card of Harvard's Samuel Winslow- Inspiration for Casey at the Bat

Starting Bid - $300.00 , Sold For - $705.00

Extremely rare circa 1885 professional studio cabinet card photograph of Samuel Winslow, Harvard's team captain and the true inspiration of Casey at the Bat, accompanied by an extraordinary red leather-bound tribute to the 1885 team, produced as a special keepsake in 1910 for players attending the 25th anniversary reunion of the Harvard baseball team. The fame of Casey at the Bat , written by Ernest Thayer in 1888, is due in large part to its classic recitation by famed showman DeWolf Hopper, who first performed the piece that same year on the New York stage at a special show for the New York Giants and Chicago White Stockings. While many players have laid claim to being the inspiration for "Casey " over the years, including Mike "King" Kelly, the character was most likely based upon Thayer's best friend in college, Samuel Winslow, captain of Harvard's baseball team in 1885. According to an account given by DeWolf Hopper, he met Thayer in the early 1890s while performing in Massachusetts and asked him who the inspiration for Casey was. Thayer replied that it was his old Harvard pal, Samuel Winslow. Offered here is a striking 1885 cabinet photo of Winslow produced by the famous Pach Bros. Studio of New York. The formal studio photograph captures Winslow posing in his Harvard uniform, looking every bit the part of the "Mighty Casey." Winslow was the team captain, right fielder, and pitcher for the 1885 Harvard team that finished the season with a record of 27-1. He later served as a congressman from Massachusetts. Both the photo and mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches) are in Near Mint condition. The leather-bound 1910 formal dinner program (5.75 x 7.5 inches, Nr-Mt) celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1885 Harvard Baseball Club, accompanies the cabinet photo and is of unrivaled production quality. The twenty-page program contains a team roster, box scores of every 1885 game, and full-page photos of both the team (the uniforms worn by the players are identical to that worn by Winslow in the cabinet photo), and a game-in-progress at Holmes Field. This is an extremely rare cabinet card (and 1885 Harvard team reunion program) with a fascinating story and a special connection to American popular culture. Total 2 items. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $705.00


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