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1939 Baseball Centennial Coca-Cola Advertising Poster
Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $3,259
Rare advertising poster, issued by Coca-Cola, commemorating the 1939 Baseball Centennial. The 1939 Baseball Centennial, commemorating the "birth" of baseball, was a yearlong celebration highlighted by the dedication of the Baseball Hall of Fame on June 12th. Here, Coca-Cola capitalizes on that excitement by producing both an attractive and informative poster that would stop any diehard baseball fan dead in his tracks. The poster's "hook" is a large full-color reproduction of the famous Currier & Ives American National Game of Base Ball lithograph, which features a game-in-progress scene of the 1865 "Grand Match for the Championship, at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, NJ." Flanking the image on either side are portrait photos, along with their career statistics, of sixteen of the first twenty-six Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, including Ruth, Cobb, Mathewson, Wagner, Johnson, Young, Lajoie, and Speaker. Located directly below the Currier & Ives image are portraits and brief biographies of Morgan Bulkeley, Abner Doubleday, and Ban Johnson. (Bulkeley and Johnson were elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937 but Doubleday, the supposed inventor of the game, has never been elected.) The remainder of the poster features a cornucopia of baseball information, including the 1939 season schedules for the National and American leagues, a list of each league's pennant winners through the years (as well as various minor-league circuits) and the rosters of both the defending American and National League pennant winners, the Yankees and Cubs. As noted in print along the base, this poster is double-sided and it continues its compendium of baseball facts and figures on the reverse ("Additional records, historical data and pictures on the back of this poster - Lift Up"). Photos featured on the reverse are those of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1876 Chicago White Stockings, 1901 Chicago White Sox, and the exterior view of the newly built Baseball Hall of Fame. The information provided includes lists of former American and National League batting and home-run champions, former MVP Award recipients, no-hit games in each league, and a long list of little-known facts and statistics that were sure to test each fan's baseball acumen. This is the first example of this rare advertising poster that we have ever offered or can recall seeing, which is not surprising given its fragile nature. The poster (20 x 27) displays light foxing, minor creases, and a number of small tears, mainly along the border areas, a few of which have been repaired by means of clear tape on the reverse. In Very Good condition overall. Matted and framed, with glass on each side, to total dimensions of 28 x 34 inches. Reserve $400. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,259
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