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1910 Baseball Inscribed to Noted Photographer Louis Van Oeyen
Starting Bid - $100.00 , Sold For - $3,231.25
Fascinating early game-used presentation baseball with period inscription originating from the estate of photographer Louis Van Oeyen. During the early 1900s, both the Indians and Cubs traveled to Louisiana for spring training and often played a series of exhibition games in New Orleans. Offered here is a ball used in the first game of their 1910 spring training exhibition series that was then presented to famed baseball photographer Louis Van Oeyen by Cleveland third baseman Bill Bradley. Period black fountain pen notations are printed on three of the four side panels. The first panel reads “The ball that was used in first game of Naps Cubs series at New Orleans, La 3-14-10.” (The Indians were often referred to as the "Naps" in honor of their star player Nap Lajoie, who also managed the club from 1905 through 1909.) An adjacent panel reads in part (a portion is illegible), “Bradley put out ___ ____ running from second to 3rd. Score Cleve 4 Cubs 2.” The third panel reads, “Presented to L. Van Oeyen by Bill Bradley.” The red and black stitched ball is heavily worn and soiled (no manufacturer’s stampings remain visible), and appears to have seen plenty of “action” in the game. Louis Van Oeyen was one of the greatest photographers of his era. His newspaper career officially began in 1901 with his coverage of President McKinley's assassination. Working for the Cleveland Press , Van Oeyen often covered a wide variety of new stories, but his greatest passion was baseball. By 1908 his reputation as one of the top cameramen in the nation earned him the title of the American League's official photographer, a position he held until 1922. Given his close association with the Cleveland players it is not surprising that such a ball would be presented to him as a keepsake. The ball is accompanied by the further provenance of having once resided in the famed Barry Halper Collection. This ball (along with other items highlighted by the Mathewson photo signed to Van Oeyen sold in REA's April 2007 sale) was purchased many years ago directly from Van Oeyen's estate by Barry Halper, and was sold in the internet portion of the famous 1999 Halper Collection auction. Unique and certainly difficult to value. Reserve $100. Estimate $200/$300. SOLD FOR $3,231.25
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