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Lot # 1229 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1911 World Series Trophy Cup Presented to Sportswriter Joseph McCready

Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $2,370.00

That Joseph McCready was an eminent Philadelphia sportswriter during the early 1900s is well established by his many credentials, including his long tenure as secretary for the Base Ball Writers Association of America (1917 until the time of his death in 1924). That he was an equally eminent host held in high esteem by his peers is evidenced by the offered piece: a uniquely designed silver-plated trophy cup presented to McCready by his fellow sportswriters as a token of their appreciation following the 1911 World Series between the Philadelphia A's and the New York Giants. The enormous cup, which measures 16.5 inches in height, with a base diameter of 8.5 inches, is notable for its use of what appears to be three ivory tusks for the handles. (The Philadelphia A's logo was that of a white elephant, hence the use of ivory.) The engraving on the front of the cup reads: "Presented/To/Joseph M. McCready/of the/Base Ball Writer's Association of America/For courteous treatment during the World Series/between/The Athletics and The New York Giants/October 14th to October 26th 1911/by/The Visiting Newspaper Writers of many/cities in this country and Cuba." An ornate floral pattern is featured along the base. Quadruple plated by The Van Bergh Silver Plating Company of Rochester, New York, as noted on the underside of the cup.

This is not only one of the most unusual and decorative baseball trophy cups we have ever seen, but one that comes with impeccable provenance as well. It has been consigned to this auction (along with a number of other early A's World Series press pins and presentation pieces) directly from the McCready family and has never before been offered for sale, either publicly or privately. The fact that the visiting sportswriters felt compelled to present this piece to McCready is directly related to the origin of the World Series press pin, the use of which first began in 1911.

The BBWAA was founded in 1908 after New York sportswriters became frustrated at constantly losing their seats in the press box at the Polo Grounds. Giants’ manager John McGraw had a habit of accommodating his many friends by sneaking them into the ballpark and offering those seats in the press box. As the situation became worse, the writers banded together, formed an association, and began the practice of issuing press pins to its members. The press pins were then required for entry into the press box. The system worked, but it was not until 1911 that the A's began the tradition of issuing specially made press pins just for the World Series. Obviously, McCready served as the unofficial host for the out-of-town writers during the World Series games at Shibe Park in 1911, and, if this ornate trophy cup is any indication, he exceeded all expectations in making sure that they were accorded their proper places in the press box. The cup displays heavy tarnishing and surface wear commensurate with its age, but the engraving remains perfectly legible. In Good to Very Good condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,370.00

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