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1918 Cap Anson Signed Orpheum Circuit Theater Contract
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $2,937.50
One-page theatrical contract between the Orpheum Theater & Realty Company and Captain Anson, dated January 30, 1918, signed by Cap Anson. As noted within the body of the contract, Anson's act is billed as "Capt. Anson & Daughters" and he has signed the contract in black fountain pen (grading "10") on behalf of the entire troupe: "Capt. Anson and Daughters." It is interesting to note that this contract was one of the signed Anson documents that originated directly from the Anson family many years ago. Cap Anson is generally regarded as the preeminent baseball player of the nineteenth century. In addition to leading the National League in hitting on three separate occasions, he is also credited as the first player to record 3,000 hits in his career. As a manager, he led the White Stockings to five pennants and was the first to implement a spring training regimen for his players. Unfortunately, Anson was also a racist, and his most ignominious "contribution" to the game took place in 1887. It was in that year, following Anson's refusal to take the field against a team with black players, that organized baseball adopted its infamous "Gentlemen's Agreement," which was an unwritten pact among team owners that effectively banned black ballplayers from professional baseball for the next sixty years. After Anson's retirement from the game in 1897 he saw his financial fortunes reversed. Most of his business endeavors ended in bankruptcy and in his later years he took to the stage, first solo, and then with his daughters, to help support his family. Anson & Daughters made its debut in 1916 and must have been somewhat well received for it remained on tour through 1921. Anson passed away in 1922, three days short of his 70th birthday. This is a rare Anson signed document relating to his short-lived theatrical career. The contract (8 x 13.5 inches) is in apparent Excellent to Mint condition and has been matted and framed together with a black-and-white Hall of Fame postcard of Anson and a Perez-Steele Hall of Fame postcard of Anson. Total dimensions: 18 x 20.5 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $2,937.50
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