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1890 Columbus BBC American Association Team Cabinet Card
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,080
Few fans or collectors today realize that Columbus, Ohio, once had a major league team. They can be forgiven as there is little that survives regarding the club to remind us (fortunately, many of the players will be familiar to collectors of Old Judges); the franchise was around for a modest number of years; it had no Hall of Famers on its roster, and while based on its record it must have fielded a very capable team, they never won a championship. In some ways, it is one of the forgotten teams of the nineteenth century. And that is part of what makes this cabinet card of the 1890 Columbus team so appealing: it features composite images of seventeen members of the 1890 Columbus Colts (also known as the Solons), members of the American Association. Each formally attired player is pictured in a bust-length image and is identified in print atop his respective photo (a few of the names are misspelled). The players represented here are Spud Johnson, Sam Nicholl, Jim McTamany, Tom Ford, "Wild Bill" Widner, Al Buckenberger (Mgr.), Jack Easton, Hank Gastright, Al Mays, John Munyan, Jack O'Connor, Jack Doyle, Ned Bligh, Jack Crooks, Mike Lehane, Henry Easterday, and Charlie Reilly. This card was a promotional giveaway by a local retailer as noted by the text within the photo that reads "Columbus B. B. Team, Season 1890/Compliments of Bott Bro's Baseball Headquarters/51 South High St. Branch 135 N. High St." The photographer's credit, "Keehler and Davis," appears both in the photo and along the base of the mount. This is one of three different team cabinet cards we have seen of the 1890 Columbus Colts, all of which incorporate the same composite images, but in different configurations. Easterday only played approximately half the season with Columbus in 1890, indicating that these cards were issued at the beginning of the season. Columbus first joined the American Association in 1883, but the team was dropped from the league after the 1884 season. They rejoined the American Association in 1889 and remained a member until the league folded after the 1891 season. Columbus finished in second place in 1890, ten games behind Louisville. Interestingly, the name "Samuel A. Nichol" [sic] is scripted in pencil on the reverse, indicating that this card might have once belonged to outfielder Sam Anderson Nicholl. There is also another name and address, printed in blue ink, on the reverse that is most likely the name of a former owner. In 1890, a bitter war raged as the Players League, National League, and American Association all competed for prominence and financial success. This is a fascinating team cabinet from the final years of the American Association, dating from the most turbulent year of major league baseball in the nineteenth century. The front of the card displays moderate surface wear, including a horizontal crease in the center of the photo (only visible when viewed at certain angles) and a few tiny edge tears and creases along the mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches), none of which detract from its overall Excellent appearance. Disclosure per section 13 of REA's terms and conditions: This lot has been consigned from the personal collection of an executive or employee of Robert Edward Auctions (or a relative of an executive or employee). SOLD FOR $1,080
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