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Lot # 1139 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1914 Chicago Federal League "Opening Day" Pennant

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,851

This rare Federal League pennant, issued in 1914 and celebrating Chicago's entry in the short-lived “outlaw” league, is one of only several known Federal League pennants and only the second Chicago "opening day" example we have ever seen. The attractive design, executed upon green felt, features both the team name and a colorful baseball illustration. “Chicago Federals” appears along the white picket fence on the right side, while the left portion of the pennant pictures a Chicago Federal League player shaking hands with a fan. The white-painted caption “Glad To Meet You,” is lettered directly below the two men. “Opening Day/1914" is printed in white along the left border. Any and all items relating to the Federal League are exceedingly rare. The Federal League was formed in 1914 as a Major League rival to the American and National Leagues. Despite its success in signing many of the game's top stars, the League only lasted two seasons, thus contributing to the great rarity of Federal League items today. This is one of only five different Federal League pennant designs we have ever seen (two designs for Chicago, one for Baltimore, one for St. Louis, and one for Buffalo). Interestingly, the same central illustration (picket fence/ballplayer/fan) displayed on this piece was also used on the Buffalo Federal League pennant, thus suggesting it may have been featured on pennants for each of the eight teams in the League in 1914. The pennant (23 inches in length), which is lightly faded, displays tack holes along the left border and tail, and the two top tassels have been cut to their current length (2.5 inches). Without reference to the cut tassels the piece remains in exceptional condition and presents as Excellent. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 32 x 14 inches. This is a remarkable display piece and souvenir dating from the Federal League’s inaugural season and one that would be a welcome addition to any advanced collection. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,851

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