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Lot # 39 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1887 Four Base Hits Billy Sunday

Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $19,720.00

Graded EX 60 by SGC. Presented is an extraordinary Four Base Hit example. Four Base Hits are among the most legendary rarities of all baseball card issues. In thirty-five years of specializing in nineteenth-century cards, Robert Edward Auctions has handled no more than six or seven cards from this incredibly rare set. In the entire world we would be surprised if as many as twenty-five cards exist, and the actual number may in fact be far fewer. This is an exceptional Four Base Hit example in superb Excellent condition. The card, captioned "Daily" (which is misspelled and was intended to be Tom Daly, catcher of the powerhouse Chicago White Stockings), actually pictures teammate Billy Sunday. Identification photo errors such as this occurred with some regularity in a number of nineteenth-century card issues. Sunday, who became a world-famous evangelist after his ballplaying days, is one of the great nineteeth-century baseball figures whose fame transcends the sport. Billy Sunday was a star with Anson's Chicago Nationals in 1886 when he met a group of evangelists from the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. The evangelists invited Billy to attend services, and soon after he became famous in the baseball community for his strong faith and moral lifestyle in a sport characterized by a culture of drinking, gambling, and hard living. He soon earned the nickname "The Evangelist." Following the 1890 season, Sunday left the game to peruse his true calling, earning less than twenty-five percent of the salary he could command on the baseball diamond. He became the most popular evangelist in America, and a great ambassador for the game of baseball. This may be the only Four Base Hit example known to exist of Billy Sunday, "The Ballplaying Evangelist." We have never seen another. This is a very striking high-grade example, with no creases, superb photo contrast, only very modest corner wear, perfect centering, and some light toning on the blank reverse. This is a very significant sample from a set which has been noted for its legendary rarity dating back to the days of Charles Bray, Wharton-Tiger, and Jefferson Burdick. Excellent condition. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000. SOLD FOR $19,720.00

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