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1909 Pittsburgh Pirates Postcard Collection (4)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $948
1909 was a memorable year for the Pittsburgh Pirates as the club not only dedicated its new stadium, Forbes Field, on June 30th, but also went on to capture its first World Championship in franchise history. This collection of four scarce Pittsburgh Pirates postcards, all of which were published in 1909, commemorates each of those historic events. Two celebrate the opening of Forbes Field while the others, issued late in the year, acknowledge the club's National League and World Series Championships, respectively. 1) 1909 Forbes Field Panoramic Postcard. The real-photo postcard captures what appears to be pregame batting practice at Forbes Field during the stadium's dedication on June 30th. Taken from the perspective of the center field bleachers, the image captures the entire field and grandstand, as well as a few outlying buildings. A cameraman, standing on the outfield wall, is clearly visible to the right as he takes pictures from a different angle. The printed caption along the base reads "Dedication of Forbes Field Pittsburg vs Chicago June 30 1909 World's Greatest Baseball Field Copyright 1909 W. F. Schaefer 403 Federal St. N S Pittsburg PA." The postcard bears correspondence on the reverse, written in pencil, but has never been mailed and, as a result, has never been folded. The postcard (10.875 x 3.375 inches) displays a few light creases and mild toning on the reverse. The photograph displays exceptional clarity and contrast. In Excellent condition overall. 2) 1909 Forbes Field Panoramic Postcard. This real-photo postcard, which has been hand-tinted, pictures game action between the Pirates and Cubs at Forbes Field on June 30th. Taken from the perspective of the center field bleachers the image captures the entire field and grandstand, as well as many outlying buildings. Amazingly, given the perspective shown here, it seems almost certain that this photo was taken by the photographer pictured in the previously listed postcard! The printed text along the top border reads "Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PA Opening Day June 30th, 1909, Attendance 30,338." The copyright notice in the lower right corner reads "Photo by Chautauqua Photographic Co./Copyright 1909." Published by the Union News Company of New York, as noted on the reverse. The postcard (10.875 x 3.5 inches) has been addressed and mailed (postmarked November 11, 1911), and as a result has been folded in half. There is some slight separation along the fold line, as well as a few minor corner creases. A paper overlay on the reverse reads "Greetings from Pittsburgh, Pa." In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. 3) 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates Panoramic Team Postcard. The tri-fold postcard captures twenty-six members of the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the grandstand, including Honus Wagner, manager Fred Clarke, Babe Adams, Vic Willis, and Deacon Phillippe. Printing along the base reads "Pittsburgh Base Ball Club. National League Champions 1909" and "Copyrighted 1909, Pittsburgh Athletic Club." The photographer's credit appears in the lower right corner "R. W. Johnston Studios of Pittsburgh 1909." Given the caption, this postcard was most likely issued just prior to the World Series. The postcard (14 x 3.25 inches) displays minor separation along both fold lines and is otherwise in apparent Excellent condition. The piece has been mounted (most likely by some form of adhesive) to a cardboard matting and framed to total dimensions of 17 x 6.25 inches. 4) 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates World Championship Postcard. This novel postcard displays a small gold felt pennant, lettered "Pirates," affixed to the front. An illustration of a smiling Pirate appears below. The text explains the presence of the pennant "The Pirates 1909 Champions of the World/We have two pennants now, old boy,/The 'World's' and 'Nationals' too;/And so, you see, it gives me joy/To send this one to you." Incredibly, the postcard is postmarked October 18, 1909, which is just two days following the Pirates' World Series victory, and the handwritten note on the reverse reflects the joy in Pittsburgh at the time "Pittsburg is crazy tonight - Celebrating over Base Ball Victory." The card (5.5 x 3.5 inches) displays only light surface and corner wear, with no sign of age to the still firmly attached pennant. In Excellent to Mint condition overall. Total: 4 postcards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $948
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