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Circa 1907 George Grebenstein Dartmouth Basketball Jersey Collection (7) and Related Memorabilia
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $14,100
All of the items featured in this lot, highlighted by seven circa 1907 basketball jerseys, originate directly from the family of George Grebenstein, a former All-American at Dartmouth College (class of 1907). Grebenstein was a four-year starter on Dartmouth's basketball team, who, during the 1905-1906 season, led the club to a 16-2 record and a National Championship while earning All-American honors. (Grebenstein was the first Dartmouth player ever to be named an All-American.) He was also a member of the Dartmouth baseball team for three seasons. Following graduation, Grebenstein continued both his baseball and basketball careers at the professional level. (A collection of Grebenstein's Dartmouth and professional baseball jerseys is offered elsewhere in this auction.) He also switched his Ivy League allegiance in the fall of 1907 when he accepted the position of head basketball coach at Harvard. This vast collection of material relates to both Grebenstein's college and professional basketball career and includes seven basketball jerseys worn by him between the years 1904 and 1908. It should be noted that basketball was only invented in 1891; therefore jerseys dating from the early 1900s, a little more than a decade after the founding of the sport, are exceedingly rare. This collection features no less than seven such jerseys, including two complete uniforms (jersey, pants, and socks) for four of which we have photos of Grebenstein actually wearing the offered garment! Additionally, the collection includes a small amount of ancillary material relating to Dartmouth basketball, including numerous flyers, scorecards, a ticket, and even the original letter from Harvard asking Grebenstein if he would interview for the position of head coach of its basketball team. Unless otherwise noted, all of the jerseys and/or shorts are original, with no alterations, and display heavy wear. 1) 1903-1904 Dartmouth basketball jersey. The green jersey features the year "1907" on the front in felt letters. No manufacturer's tags (or signs of removal). A small white tag, with the letter "G" embroidered in red upon it (possibly for Grebenstein) appears on the interior rear tail. Accompanied by a photo (7 x 5 inches) of Grebenstein (posing with the team) wearing this jersey. Although the jersey reads "1907" it does not date from 1907. The "1907" on the jersey refers to the player's graduating class and vintage notations on the reverse of the photo identify it as dating from Grebenstein's 1903/1904 freshman season. Also, in a 1907 scorecard that is offered in this lot, a team photo shows two players wearing jerseys that read "1909." 2) Circa 1905 Dartmouth basketball uniform. The white jersey displays a diagonal green stripe running from the right shoulder to the left tail, while the matching quilted shorts display a green stripe down the side of each leg. A small white tag, with the letter "G" embroidered in red upon it (possibly for Grebenstein) appears on the interior rear tail. Together with what appears to be the original green socks. The manufacturer's tag has been removed from the jersey. No manufacturer's tags (or signs of removal) in the pants. Accompanied by a photo (4.75 x 6 inches) of Grebenstein (posing with the team) wearing this uniform. 3-4) two Circa 1906 Dartmouth basketball jerseys. The first, which is a gray jersey, features the letters "D B B" (Dartmouth Basket Ball) on the front in green felt. No manufacturer's tags (or signs of removal). Together with what appears to be the original green socks. Accompanied by a photo (4.75 x 3.75 inches) of Grebenstein (posing with the team) wearing this jersey. This may very well be the uniform worn by Grebenstein during the 1905-1906 National Championship season and the year he was named an All-American. Unfortunately, the photo is not dated and our research has failed to conclusively date it to that specific year. The second jersey is also gray, but features the letters "D B B" on the front in blue felt. Also, the font of the letters is slightly different from that of the first jersey (the jersey worn by Grebenstein in the accompanying photo matches that of the first jersey, with green lettering). A small white tag, with the letter "G" embroidered in red upon it (possibly for Grebenstein) appears on the interior rear tail. This second jersey may have been a practice jersey or an alternate. 5) 1907 Dartmouth basketball uniform. The gray jersey features a faded green "D" on the front. Together with the matching gray quilted shorts. No manufacturer's tags (or signs of removal) in either the jersey or shorts. Accompanied by a 1907 photo of Grebenstein (posing with the team) wearing this uniform. Grebenstein was captain of the club in 1907, his senior year. 6-7) Two different circa 1908 East Boston C.L.A. professional basketball jerseys. The first is a gray jersey with "CLA" lettered on the front in blue felt. The other is a white jersey with "CLA" lettered on the front and "East Boston" lettered on the reverse, each in green felt. Each jersey bears a "Wright & Ditson" manufacturer's label in the rear left tail. The white jersey displays a number of significant tears. Together with a circa 1908 cardboard broadside (22 x 28 inches) heralding a game between the East Boston C.L.A. and Company D on New Year's day. Grebenstein is listed by name on the broadside as one of the major stars. Also included are a pair of quilted brown basketball shorts and a pair of blue and white basketball socks which most likely go with one of the jerseys; however, we cannot state with certainty which one it pairs up with. Accompanying the basketball garments is a small group of material related to Grebenstein's Dartmouth basketball career, including letters (8.5 x 11 inches) from both Harvard and Tufts (dating from November and December of 1907, respectively) inquiring if he would consider accepting the position of head basketball coach for the 1907-1908 season (he accepted the position at Harvard), seven Dartmouth basketball programs (5.5 x 9 inches) from the 1906-1907 season (each for a different game, including Yale, Harvard, Brown, and Penn), eleven paper flyers heralding upcoming Dartmouth basketball games (years unknown, various sizes, averaging 3.5 x 9 inches), numerous newspaper clipping, personal documents, and miscellaneous train and travel-related material. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. This is one of the most remarkable early basketball collections we have ever seen, let alone handled, the likes of which is rarely accompanied by such extraordinary provenance. Total: 7 jerseys, plus a small group of supporting documents and related memorabilia. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $14,100
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