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1869 Nebraska City Otoes Trophy Bat - Opponent of the 1869 Red Stockings!
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $9,600
Nineteenth-century trophy bat presented to the Otoe Base Ball Club of Nebraska City, Nebraska, in 1869. The bat features a metal plaque encircling the end of the barrel that is engraved "Won By/The Nebraska City Otoes/August 10 1869." The knob of the bat is also encased in metal. The Nebraska City Otoes, founded in 1868, were one of the earliest organized baseball clubs in Nebraska. Obviously, as noted by the presentation of this bat, they enjoyed some great early success on the diamond. While little information exists regarding the 1869 Otoes Base Ball Club, one extremely significant claim to fame today is that later that year, on October 12 in Nebraska City, they played the legendary 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, who were returning home from a tour of California. The newly formed Otoes, of course, were no match for Harry Wright's all-professional squad and suffered a lopsided 50-3 defeat. Despite the loss, it afforded the Otoes a bit of immortality in becoming one of the Red Stockings' fifty-seven victims during the club's historic undefeated season. The only other mention of the Otoes in 1869 that we can find is from a local newspaper article, dated August 26th, that records its agreement to take part in a "base ball tournament" with the Omaha Base Ball Club at the upcoming Nebraska State Fair. The bat, which measures 36 inches in length and weighs 43.6 ounces, is heavily worn. There is a large 23-inch crack on each side of the barrel and the bat displays numerous abrasions and dings throughout its entire length. Both the metal plaque at the top and the metal covering on the knob are tarnished and have a few minor dents. All nineteenth-century trophy bats are extremely rare and desirable. The fact that this example was issued to one of the Cincinnati Red Stockings' opponents in 1869 makes it an especially noteworthy museum-caliber example and one that would be a welcome addition to any advanced nineteenth-century baseball collection.
SOLD FOR $9,600
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