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1876 Boston (vs. Hartford) National League Program - Inaugural Season
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,293
Exceedingly rare scorecard, for a game between the Boston Red Caps and the Hartford Dark Blues, dating from the National League's 1876 inaugural season. The preprinted lineups include George Wright, Jim O'Rourke, Tim Murnane (listed as "Murnan"), Andy Leonard, Jack Manning, and "Honest John" Morrill for Boston, and Dick Higham, Bob Ferguson, Jack Burdock, and Tommy Bond for Hartford. Neatly scored in pencil to record a 5-4 victory by Hartford. Research indicates that the only 5-4 home loss to Hartford in 1876 occurred on Friday, August 18th. That date concurs with the information listed on the scorecard. The loss to Hartford left Boston with a 25-20 record. According to the National League standings printed on the reverse, Boston entered this game with a record of 25-19. Interestingly, the reverse of the scorecard lists two scheduled games for Boston: "Friday, Aug 18, Lowell, at Lowell, probably" and "Saturday, Aug 19, Hartford, at Boston." Obviously, Boston was playing games outside the National League schedule that season, but it is clear that League games took precedence. The game recorded here was probably a makeup game from earlier in the season and necessitated the canceling of the game against Lowell. Boston eventually finished in fourth place during its first year of National League play. Hartford fared much better, finishing in second place behind the powerful Chicago White Stockings. Any and all items dating from the first year of the National League are extremely rare and of special note. This is the first 1876 National League scorecard we have offered in many years. In fact, we can only recall having seen one other in the past ten years. The scorecard (5.5 x 7 inches, unfolded) has tape residue on the spine, as well as two small tears along the edges of the center fold; otherwise in Excellent condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,293
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