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Lot # 1221 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1903 World Series Royal Rooters Souvenir Card issued by Michael T. McGreevy

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,410

During the late 1890s, Boston’s most diehard baseball fans were organized into a cohesive group by saloon keeper Michael T. McGreevy. Calling themselves the “Royal Rooters,” the group’s informal membership quickly grew into the hundreds. Each year the most fanatical Rooters often accompanied the Red Sox to spring training and important road games. Offered here is an exceedingly rare song card issued for one of the most important Royal Rooters excursions ever: the 1903 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The front of the card (2.25 x 4 inches) features a portrait image of McGreevy, the name of his famous tavern "McGreevy - 3rd Base - on the avenue," and his famous nickname "Nuffsaid." (3rd Base, which was so named because it was the last stop before you went home, was the official headquarters of the Royal Rooters. It was there that McGreevy earned his famous nickname by ending every baseball-related argument brought to his arbitration with the final words "Nuffsaid.") The back of the card is lettered "Rooter's Souvenir/Boston-Pittsburg/Oct., 1903/M. T. McGreevy." Below that are the words to three Boston "fight" songs that the Rooters would sing during games to unnerve the Pirates. Of additional special note is the fact that the words to each of these songs specifically reference the 1903 World Series battle (Example: "Boston, Pittsburg, Who are we? We are the rooters for 19-3, We will win, Go tell your pa, We Beaneaters, Beaneaters, Rah! Rah! Rah! ). Although the most famous Boston "fight" song during that series, and for decades to come, was Tessie , this card does not include those lyrics, proving that the Rooters were not a "one-song" group. Actually, Tessie was afforded a song card all its own during the 1903 World Series (we offered a rare example as part of Lot 859 in our May 2007 auction) and its unique rendition, as sung by the Rooters, is often credited with turning the tide in the Series for Boston. (Pittsburgh held a three game to one lead in the best-of-nine series before Tessie was unleashed upon them.) Both this card and the aforementioned Tessie song represent the only examples, respectively, we have ever seen, though there may very well be other survivors. This is an extremely rare and remarkably historic piece relating to the first World Series in modern times. The card displays a number of very light diagonal wrinkles in the lower left quadrant. The reverse has a small area of surface paper loss as well as slight separation of the paper from its backing. In Very Good condition. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,410

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