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Lot # 1360 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

The Ultimate Cape Cod Baseball League Collection! (1930s through 1960s)

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $1,777.50

This extraordinary collection of Cape Cod Baseball League material, including jerseys, a cap, and a batting trophy, is noteworthy for the fact that nearly all of the pieces date from the 1930s through the 1950s, a period from which few significant League artifacts remain. Officially founded in 1923, the Cape Cod Baseball League began as a local league for college and semiprofessional players, with teams based in Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis, and Osterville. Over the next two decades the league grew in popularity, with a number of other teams coming and going during that period. After disbanding for a few seasons during World War II, the league was revived in 1946, where it once again featured top local talent. In 1963 the league became what it is known as today: the top amateur summer league for college players. Since that time, hundreds of Cape Cod League players have graduated to the Major Leagues, including Carlton Fisk, Thurman Munson, Chase Utley, Ron Darling, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, Robin Ventura, Chuck Knoblauch, Tim Linecum, Jason Varitek, Mark Teixeira, Frank Thomas, Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Youkilis, Craig Biggio, and Will Clark. Today, the league is a true cradle for Major League talent, with more than 200 Cape Cod league players having been selected in each of the past six Major-League drafts.

The material in this lot was assembled over a period of thirty years by a dedicated collector, and, to the best of our knowledge, represents the most significant offering of Cape Cod League material at public auction in recent memory. We cannot overstate how rare this material is. The reason why vintage Cape Cod League material is seldom seen at public auction is because it simply does not exist. For many collectors, the only time they have seen material similar to that offered here was during a visit to the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame.

1) 1938 Official Cape Cod League Ball. This is believed to be the oldest official Cape Cod League ball extant. The dating is based upon the hand-printed ink notations on the sweet spot and the panel below that read "Bourne - Orleans/Cape ___(text illegible) Cod/Freberg + Coyne/Score/8-6/Sept. 3, 1938." Both the stampings of the manufacturer and the league president are too light to make out; however, the stamp "Official/Cape Cod/League" remains legible. The ball is moderately to heavily toned and displays a few abrasions. Gd-Vg. 2) 1939 Cape Cod League Batting Trophy presented to Lester Shatzer. The impressive trophy, constructed of celluloid and metal, features a batting figure mounted on the top of the base. The metal plaque is engraved "Fr McSwiney Council/K of C/No 2525/Trophy/Highest Batting Average/Cape Cod League/Season 1939/Won By/Lester Shatzer/Ave .40096." Manufactured by the International Silver Co., as noted on the bottom of the hollowed base. 17.5 inches in height. The metal components display light tarnishing and the bat on the top figural piece is loose. The base displays a large crack and an irregularly shaped portion of the front base has snapped off (the broken piece is included with the trophy and can most likely be professionally reattached). Without regard to the broken piece, the trophy remains in Very Good to Excellent condition. Included with the trophy is a vintage, original photo of Lester Shatzer (2.5 x 3.5 inches; Ex-Mt) that originates from the Sporting News archives. 3) Circa 1930s Falmouth Cape Cod League game-used cap. The cap's age, Falmouth attribution, and authenticity is verified by Dan Dunn, curator of the Cape Cod League Hall of Fame, who has provided a typed-signed letter documenting its provenance. In full: "To Whom It May Concern, This letter is in regards to the 1930s Falmouth Cape Cod Baseball League game worn hat. This hat was obtained by me as a gift from the Commodores Historian Al Irish. This hat was worn in the early to mid-1930s. The hat was formerly on display at the CCBL Hall of Fame. This item is 100% authentic in all regards." The navy wool cap, with red brim, is missing the manufacturer's label and displays light wear. 4) Circa 1940s Falmouth jersey. The white pinstripe flannel jersey is lettered "Falmouth" across the front and features the number "25" on the reverse, both of which are appliquéd in navy felt. Located in the collar are a "Stall & Dean" label and "42" size tag. The jersey displays heavy wear, including a large team repair on the front. The jersey is accompanied by a brief typed-signed letter (undated) of provenance from Dan Dunn, curator of the Cape Cod League Hall of Fame, who writes "This note is in regards to the Falmouth Commodores game used #25 jersey worn by Dave Lawrence of Falmouth. This jersey was purchased at a yard sale by me in Falmouth circa 2000." 5) Circa 1950s Cotuit jersey. The gray flannel jersey is lettered "Cotuit" across the front and features the number "20" on the reverse, both of which have been appliquéd in maroon felt. A "Stall & Dean 44" label appears on the left front tail, as does a small strip tag upon which the number "20" is written in black marker. The jersey displays heavy wear, including a number of light soil stains. The jersey is accompanied by a typed-signed letter, dated March 12, 2012, from Dan Dunn, curator of the Cape Cod League Hall of Fame. In full: "To Whom It May Concern, This wool COTUIT baseball uniform was game used in the 1950s in the Cape Cod League. This is 100% authentic. There is one other known. It is on display at the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame." 6) Circa 1950s jersey attributed to Brewster of the Cape Cod Baseball League. It should be noted that there is no letter of provenance with this jersey, nor has it been photo matched; hence its "attributed to" designation. However, our consignor received this jersey decades ago from a lifelong Cape Cod resident and we would be surprised if it were anything but a Brewster Cape Cod League jersey. The gray flannel jersey is lettered "Brewster" across the front and features the "15" on the reverse, both of which have been appliquéd in maroon tackle twill. A “W. H. Brine” label and “42” size tag appear in the collar. The jersey displays moderate-to-heavy wear. 7) Circa late 1960s Chatham A's Cape Cod League Pro-Model Bat. The bat, which is an H&B Hank Aaron signature-model (“R43”) bat dating from the 1969-1972 manufacturing period, is specially stamped “Chatham” in block letters on the barrel. (H&B often supplied colleges and leagues like the Cape Cod League with pro-model bats bearing the college or team name stamped on the barrel; in all other respects they were nearly identical to those used by the respective professional player.) The bat displays heavy use, including ball marks and a slight crack in the handle. Total: 7 items. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,777.50

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