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Lot # 75 (of 873)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1859 Star/Knickerbocker Challenge Letter

Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $6,325.00

In the early days of the game, before the era of professional baseball, baseball matches were arranged exclusively by formal invitation. Baseball was a gentleman's game, and the formality of scheduling a match via a written invitation was certainly in keeping with the spirit of the times, and the dignity of the proceedings. Offered is such an early "Challenge Letter," which is an especially remarkable specimen as it involves two of the most prominent early baseball clubs. This Challenge Letter (5 x 8 inches), on Star Base Ball Club stationery, presents a formal invitation by the Stars of Brooklyn to the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. While all early letters of invitation such as this are rare, it would be hard to imagine a match of this era between two more significant teams. The partially preprinted document, dated "Brooklyn August 27th, 1859," and addressed "To the President and Members of the Knickerbocker B B Club," reads as follows: The "First Nine" of the Star Club respectfully invite you to a friendly match game of Ball to be played on this ground on Wednesday, Sept 14th at 3 P.M." It is signed by R. B. Lawrence, Sec. of the Star Club. Of additional special note is the fact Brooklyn's legendary star pitcher, James Creighton, pitched almost all contests for Brooklyn late in the season of 1859, and almost certainly pitched the game represented by this invitation. Normal mailing folds. Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $800. Estimate $1,500/$2,500. SOLD FOR $6,325.00

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