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Lot # 831 (of 1137)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1870 Star Base Ball Club Trophy Ball

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,659

On August 27, 1870, the Star Base Ball Club defeated a team from Allentown by a score of 30-24. The site of the game, the players who participated in it, and the spectators who attended will probably never be known. That fact aside, it is a game that will never be forgotten due to the survival of this rare relic: a decorated trophy ball commemorating that contest. The white painted ball features a green shield design, within which appears the black-lettered text "Star/Allentown/30-24/Aug 27th/1870." The team name, "Star," was a common name for a ball club at the time, so it is impossible to know for certain what town the team called home. However, the fact that they were playing Allentown suggests that they might have been located in Pennsylvania. This particular ball, which features a "figure-eight" stitch pattern, weighs in at 5.6 ounces (the heavy lead paint obviously adds some slight weight) and its circumference measures 9.25 inches. That weight and measurement are almost identical to standards set by the National Association just two years later in 1872. The ball displays a few variously sized chips to the white paint, as well as a large area (approximately 2 x 2 inches) at the base of the ball that displays no paint. A small tab of what appears to be modern white paint, or perhaps Wite-Out, has been applied on that unpainted area of the ball, upon which are written a few illegible letters and/or numbers in red ink. Nineteenth-century trophy balls, regardless of the teams, are very rare and highly prized by collectors today. This particular ball, dating from early 1870, is a very interesting, attractive, and unique example. Perhaps future research will provide additional information about the teams and the game. This is a rare collecting opportunity to acquire an early trophy ball of high quality, at a very modest level compared to the many thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that more significant trophy balls, involving the game's most prominent teams, sell for when available. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,659

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