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Lot # 1281 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1939-1940 Guayama Brujos Team Composite Photo with Satchel Paige

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,410

Incredibly rare and magnificently designed team composite featuring the 1939-1940 Guayama Brujos, champions of the Puerto Rican winter league, including Satchel Paige and William Perkins. Both Paige and Perkins (he was Paige's favorite catcher) are pictured in full-figure poses, as is star center fielder Tetelo Vargas. The remaining sixteen player photos are in the form of cameo portraits, including Pedro "Perucho" (The Bull) Cepeda, father of Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, and Charlie Rivero. Issued by C. F. Castro Photo Studios of Puerto Rico (photo studio advertising credit appears prominently along the bottom of the photo). All of the players are identified in print below their respective images. The printed lettering in the center of the photo reads "Team Guayama/Campeon Mundial/1939-40." (Campeon Mundial translates to "World Champions.") The 1939-1940 Guayama Brujos (Witches) were the defending champions of the Puerto Rican winter league, and the addition of Paige to the club that season all but guaranteed another title. Even though Paige missed the first four weeks of the season, joining the club in late October, it didn't prevent him from setting single-season records for wins (19) and strikeouts (208), while posting a 1.93 ERA. He then continued his mound dominance in the league championship series, winning two games against the San Juan Senadores. Like many Negro League players of that era, Paige was a regular on the winter-league circuit, but not in Puerto Rico. 1939 marked the first time that Paige played for a Puerto Rican team and he returned only once more, in 1947. Any and all items relating to Paige's winter-league seasons are exceedingly rare. This is the first example we have ever seen of this extraordinary and remarkably high quality team composite dating from Paige's first winter season in Puerto Rico. The size and quality of the piece gives it the appearance of a premium card of some type, although we do not know exactly how it was issued. The photo (6.75 x 4.75 inches) displays a few very minor creases (most can only be seen when viewed at certain angles), none of which detract in the least from its incredible display value and Excellent overall appearance. On the reverse is a handwritten name and address in Puerto Rico that has been lightly gone over with a type of "white out" material and an ink notation reading "1939-40" appears in the lower right. A proprietary stamp in the center of the blank reverse boldly reads "The total or partial reproduction of this photography is prohibited without a written consent of 'Alvelo Collection.'" This is an extraordinary team card very prominently featuring the legendary Satchel Paige in his prime. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,410

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