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1905 New York Giants (vs. Philadelphia) World Series Program
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $16,450
Extremely rare New York Giants program issued for the 1905 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics. Incredible newly discovered program example from the second-ever World Series (there was no World Series in 1904) and one of the great rarities in all of World Series program collecting. It is also a particularly ideal program for display. The eight-page program features a team photo of the Giants on the cover that identifies them as "Champions National League 1904-5." The photograph, taken by noted baseball photographer George Lawrence, pictures the players dressed in formal attire posing together in a studio setting, including manager John McGraw, owner John T. Brush, Christy Mathewson, Roger Bresnahan and Joe McGinnity. Featured on the interior pages are portrait photos of both John McGraw and A's manager Connie Mack, as well as those of Christy Mathewson, Joe McGinnity, Dan McGann, owner John T. Brush, team secretary Fred Knowles, and team mascot Buster Wilson. The preprinted scorecard section features Bresnahan Donlin, McGann, and McGinnity (name handwritten in the pitcher's spot) for the Giants, and Hartsel, Davis, Cross, and Plank for the Athletics. Neatly scored in pencil for Game 4 of the series won by the Giants by a score of 1-0. The Giants defeated the A's four games to one in what was one of the most dominant mound performances in World Series history. The Giants won each of their four games by shutout, and allowed only three runs in the entire five games, none of which were earned. Mathewson won three of the games, while McGinnity won one, which is duly recorded here. We have seen very few 1905 World Series programs come to auction over the years, most of which had restoration. The offered program is not only new to the hobby but has no restoration whatsoever, making it an all the more noteworthy example of one of the rarest of all World Series programs.
Although this program dates from 1905, it is actually from the second modern-day World Series ever played. In 1903 the National Agreement finally brought "peace" between the two leagues, but it was not responsible for the establishment of an annual postseason championship series between the two league winners, known today as the World Series. Instead, the World Series was born when Barney Dreyfuss and Henry Killilea, the respective owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox, each agreed in August to match their first-place clubs in a best-of-nine postseason series that fall to determine what they declared to be the "World's Championship." The fact that the Series was not formally mandated, meant that teams did not have to participate and in 1904 the Giants chose to exercise that right. In speaking with the press, Giants owner John T. Brush asserted that "We are content when our season is ended to rest upon our laurels. The club that wins from the clubs of Boston, Brooklyn, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis, the eight largest and most important cities in America, in a series of 154 games, is entitled to the honor of champions of the United States without being called upon to contend with or recognize clubs from minor leagues. Neither the players nor the manager of the Giants nor myself desires any greater glory than to win the pennant in the National League, that is the greatest honor that can be obtained in baseball." Naturally, Brush's reasons for not participating were not well received by the Boston Pilgrims, champions of the American League, or by most baseball fans. After hearing of the Giants refusal to take part in the series, the Pilgrims claimed the championship and the Sporting News supported them, declaring them the champions as well. Ironically, it was none other than John T. Brush who was later responsible for the World Series becoming a postseason tradition. During the off season he proposed that the World Series be a compulsory affair between the two leagues and in a vote of team owners the "Brush Rules" governing World Series play were formally adopted.
As noted, this program is a new discovery. It was recently found among a collection of paper items (non-baseball related) in upstate New York, by an antique collectibles dealer who specializes in paper items. The original owner of the program went to the game, saved the program as a souvenir, and it has remained perfectly preserved, undiscovered for over one hundred years in a mountain of family papers of various kinds.
The program (10.75 x 6.75 inches) displays beautifully with flawless colors, and has a tiny edge tear at the bottom of the front cover, and a single horizontal "pocket-fold" crease along the end of which is a tiny quarter-inch tear that affects both covers and each of the interior pages. A few stray pencil marks and smudges affect the back cover, and the interior back cover displays two separate numerical division calculations, also in pencil. While technically in Very Good condition, most of the flaws are very unobtrusive and the program displays as Excellent. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $16,450
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