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Lot # 1063 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Rare 1890 Brooklyn (vs. Buffalo) Players' League Program - Highest-Scoring Game in League History!

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $9,480

Exceedingly rare 1890 Players League program issued for a game between Brooklyn and Buffalo on July 12th in which the two teams combined for a league-record forty-four runs! As noted by the scored interior, Brooklyn defeated Buffalo 28-16 that day (Buffalo's last four runs in the ninth inning are not noted; the owner of the program probably left in the ninth, secure in Brooklyn's 28-12 lead). Interestingly, as was the rule at the time, Brooklyn opted to bat first in the game, even though they were the "home" team and playing at their ball park. The preprinted lineups include Ward (the founder of the Players' League), Orr, Van Haltren, Andrews, and Joyce for Brooklyn, and Hoy, Mack, Wise, Beecher, and Rowe for Buffalo. Another interesting aspect of this piece is the fact that it was published by John Montgomery Ward, as noted in print on the cover. Obviously, Ward had his hand in basically every aspect of the new league, including printing his club's programs.

Players' League programs of this style are highly prized for their dazzling full-color covers, as well as their great rarity and historical significance. The fact that this example records the highest-scoring game in League history makes it especially appealing. The Players' League was formed in 1890 by Major League players who had become dissatisfied with their treatment by the team owners. The leader of the movement to form the new league was John Montgomery Ward, one of the top players of his day and president of The Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players. The preceding year Ward led an open revolt against management that resulted in the formation of the renegade league. Unfortunately, financial miscalculations caused the Players' League to fold after just one season and most of the players simply returned to their old clubs. The four-page program (6 x 9 inches) displays a very light vertical fold (slightly on an angle) and is otherwise in Excellent condition, with all of the colors bright and bold. This is an extremely rare and ideal-for-display relic from this historically important one-year league. Also, the cover of this program presents one of the truly great classic baseball-related graphics of the era. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $9,480


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