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1897 Cameo Pepsin Gum Louis Sockalexis Pin
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $4,200
Extremely rare Cameo Pepsin Gum pin featuring Louis Sockalexis. An extraordinarily significant rarity, this is only the third Sockalexis Cameo Pepsin Gum pin we have ever seen! This extraordinary example was first discovered in 2012 by a family of noncollectors while going through their grandmother's possessions. In addition to its great rarity, the fact that Sockalexis appears in no traditional card sets makes this pin one of the most desirable of all Cameo Pepsin Gum pins. The story of Louis Sockalexis is one of the most tragic in baseball history. An American Indian, Sockalexis was one of the most talented players of his time, but his dependence on the bottle abruptly ended his major league career just as it started. Sockalexis appeared in sixty-six games with the Cleveland Spiders in 1897, finishing the season with a .338 average while wowing the crowds with his spectacular defensive abilities in the outfield and his daring on the base paths. However, an ankle injury that season, combined with all-too-frequent drinking binges, ruined what was sure to be an outstanding pro career. Just two seasons later, after his appearances at the local taverns became much more frequent than his appearances at the ballpark, Cleveland released him. He never played in the major leagues again. His popularity never waned though, and in 1914, the Cleveland Naps were renamed the Indians in honor of Louis "Chief" Sockalexis. The pin displays light contrast and is otherwise in Excellent condition overall, with just a hint of light surface wear. The original paper label on the reverse remains completely intact. Manufactured by Whitehead & Hoag. Diameter: 1.25 inches. The last Sockalexis Cameo Pepsin Gum pin offered at auction appeared as Lot 1389 in REA’s Spring 2013 auction, and sold for $14,220. It may be many years before we see another.
SOLD FOR $4,200
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