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1905 New York Giants World Series Program
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $11,750
Extremely rare New York Giants program issued for the 1905 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics. This program from the second-ever World Series (there was no World Series in 1904) is one of the great rarities in all of World Series program collecting. This is only the second 1905 World Series program we have ever offered (the first was a superior example that sold for $16,450 in REA's May 2010 auction). 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 Mathewson (the names of McGinnity and Ames are crossed out in the pitcher's box) for the Giants, and Hartsel, Davis, Cross, and Bender (the names of Plank, Henley, Coakley, and Waddell are crossed out in the pitcher's box) for the Athletics. Neatly scored in pencil for the fifth and final game of the series won by the Giants by a score of 2-0. 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 (the final of which is recorded here), while McGinnity won one. Of the very few 1905 World Series programs that have come to auction over the years, many have had restoration. The offered program has no restoration whatsoever.
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 did not establish 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.
The program (10.75 x 6.75 inches) displays a heavy horizontal fold along the end of which is an approximate half-inch tear that affects each cover and all of the interior pages. Minor surface wear is evident on the front cover, while the back cover displays a few stray pencil marks. The interior scorecard section has detached from the bottom staple, but remains firmly anchored to the top staple. One of the interior pages displays a printing flaw in that it was cut slightly larger than the other pages and therefore extends beyond the edges of the covers. That has resulted in the overhanging page having a number of border tears along its exposed areas. In Good condition overall. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $11,750
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