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1916 Jake Daubert Brooklyn Robins National League Championship Pin with Direct Family Provenance
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $10,575
Exceedingly rare National League Championship award issued in 1916 to Brooklyn Robins star first baseman Jacob Ellsworth Daubert. The Brooklyn Nationals were known as the Robins in 1916, named after their legendary manager Wilbert Robinson. This is the first example of this Brooklyn Robins championship pin we have ever seen, though perhaps with this auction we will hear of other surviving examples. It has been consigned directly by Daubert's great grandson, James Gregg, who has provided a one-page letter detailing its provenance. Also featured in this auction (Lot 9) is Jake Daubert's 1919 Cincinnati Reds World Series pin which has been consigned directly by Jake Daubert's granddaughter, Joan Heimback. What is even more amazing, and which is explained in Gregg's accompanying letter, is that neither Heimback (who is Gregg's aunt) nor Gregg were ever aware that the other was in possession of his/her respective championship award. It was only just recently, during a conversation with his aunt, that Gregg learned of the existence of the 1919 Reds pin and that it had been consigned to Robert Edward Auctions. Realizing both the historical significance and rarity of each pin, Gregg quickly decided that both should be offered in the auction. Unfortunately, he contacted REA just as the catalog had gone to the printer, which is why it appears in the Internet-only section of the auction (as do a number of other lots that were received too late for print).
Featured on the front of the circular 14K gold pin (1.25 inches in diameter, with scalloped border) is a floral design and the depiction of a scroll bearing the engraved inscription "Brooklyn National League Champions 1916." The reverse bears the engraving of the recipient "J. E. DAUBERT" as well as "14K" and the name of the manufacturer "MERMOD JACCARD & KING. There is a small hole at the top of the pin, which was most likely drilled at a later date, that would have allowed it to be worn as pendant; otherwise the pin is in Near Mint condition.
Like Daubert's 1919 Reds pin, this pin was the official award given to players on the 1916 Brooklyn Robins to commemorate the club's National League Championship (they were defeated in five games by the Red Sox in the World Series). Before 1922, World Series champions normally received pendants, pins, or some other type of special jewelry item to commemorate their triumph. In modern times, of course, the tradition is the presentation of a ring. But in 1916, a finely crafted 14k gold pin served this purpose. While logic dictates that other examples of this pin must still exist, this is the first we have ever seen. Any and all early World Series commemorative pieces dating prior to 1920 are exceedingly rare, especially those issued to a player of Daubert's status.
Daubert was one of the top first basemen of the early twentieth century. Both a slick fielder and outstanding hitter, Daubert won two consecutive National League batting titles (1913 and 1914) and finished his fifteen-year career (1910-1924) with a .303 lifetime average. Daubert was also one of the earliest activists for players’ rights, which were virtually nonexistent at the time, a fact that did not endear him to baseball owners. Brooklyn traded Daubert to Cincinnati in February 1919, where he helped lead the Reds to the National League pennant and a subsequent date with destiny in the World Series against the infamous Chicago "Black Sox." Ironically, Daubert died due to complications from an appendectomy five years to the day after the Reds took game eight of the 1919 World Series. At age 40, he was still an active player at the time of his death, which sent shock waves through baseball.
As noted, the pin is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Jake Daubert's great grandson (pictured). Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $10,575
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