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Collection of Material from the Elmer Foster Estate Including N173 Old Judge Cabinet
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,541
This collection of baseball material, including three nineteenth-century cabinet photos, originates directly from the family of Elmer Foster, whose major league career spanned the years 1886 to 1891. (The exceedingly rare 1888 New York Giants imperial cabinet photo by Joseph Hall, offered elsewhere in this auction, also comes from the Foster family.) Card collectors may be particularly familiar with Foster as he is one of the subjects in the rare and extremely well known N172 Old Judge Spotted Tie subset featuring 1886 New York Mets players. A fleet-footed outfielder, known for both his defensive prowess and his complete disregard for using a baseball glove, Elmer Foster was a member of the World Champion New York Giants in 1888 and 1889, and later played two seasons with Cap Anson's Chicago White Stockings in 1890 and 1891. His minor-league career included stints with the Minneapolis Millers of the Western Association and Haverhill of the Eastern New England League. The collection is comprised of the following: 1) 1888 N173 Old Judge cabinet of Foster as a member of the New York Giants. The card, which has been trimmed along the bottom border, displays corner wear, along with light stains and light pencil notations on the reverse. In Fair condition. 2) Team cabinet card capturing fourteen members of the Minneapolis Millers posing together in a formal studio setting. Foster is pictured seated in the center. The photographer's credit, "Pugg, Minneapolis," appears on the base of the mount and reverse. Although undated, Foster only played with Minneapolis in 1887, 1889, 1890, and 1895. 6.5 x 4.25 inches. Vg-Ex. 3) Cabinet card of Foster as a member of "Flour City." Foster's name and position ("C. F.") are printed along the base of the mount. The photographer's name on the mount is affected by a tear, but the visible lettering reads "Coby." We don't know exactly what year this cabinet was taken, or where the "Flour City" club hailed from, but the photographer was based in Minneapolis, strongly suggesting that "Flour City" was also a Minneapolis area team. Foster's name is scripted in black fountain pen at the top of the photo. The card (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays a small corner chip in the lower left, as well as a few tack holes around the perimeter. In Good to Very Good condition. 4-5) Two photos picturing Foster during his retirement years. One (7 x 9.25 inches) is dated 4/18/29 and the other (5.5 x 9.5 inches), which is colorized, is dated 1932. (Foster died in 1946). Both Ex-Mt. 6) Scrapbook (34 pages), kept by the family, filled with newspaper clippings about Foster. All of the clippings date from his retirement years (1920s through the 1940s), many of which recount his exploits on the diamond during his professional career. Total: 6 items (3 cabinet cards, 2 photos, and a scrapbook). Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,541
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