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1933 Philadelphia Stars Real-Photo Postcard with Jud Wilson & Biz Mackey
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $5,333
Extraordinary panorama-style postcard picturing seventeen members of the circa 1933 Philadelphia Stars posing together in uniform along a street curb, including future Hall of Famers Biz Mackey and Jud Wilson. The printed title along the top border advertises "Ed Bolden's Phila. Stars"; each player is identified at the base of the photo: "Jake" Stephens (spelled "Stevens"), Herb Smith, "Mickey" Casey, Jud Wilson, Pete Washington, Clifford Allen, Porter Charleston, Biz Mackey, Ed Bolden (Mgr.), Paul Carter, "Rap" Dixon, Dick Lundy, Chaney White, "Eggie" Dallard, Cliff Carter, Webster McDonald, and Tom Finley. The year "1933" is written in vintage black fountain pen along the base of the front. Given the identifications printed on the postcard, that year is correct. Therefore, this photo pictures the club during its inaugural 1933 season, making it perhaps the most historically significant Philadelphia Stars image extant. Ed Bolden, who had earlier guided the Hilldale Daisies to three consecutive Eastern Colored League Championships, founded the Philadelphia Stars in 1933. The team played one season as an independent club before joining the Negro National League in 1934. Success came early for the Stars, as the club defeated the Chicago American Giants to win the Negro National League pennant in 1934. Unfortunately, it also marked the final pennant for Bolden's club, which remained a member of the Negro National League until the League's collapse in 1948. The Stars continued play for the next two years as a member of the Negro American League before disbanding after the 1950 season. Any and all Negro League postcards, especially those featuring important teams, are very rare. This is only the second example of this postcard we have ever handled. The first, which originated from the famed Richard Merkin Collection (also graded Fair 20 by SGC), appeared as Lot 652 in REA's May 2011 sale, where it sold for $5,875. The postcard (5.5 x 3.5) displays what appears to be adhesive residue and minor surface paper loss on the reverse as a result of its having been removed from an album. Otherwise, it displays just moderate handling wear, mainly at the corners. Encapsulated and graded Fair 20 by SGC (downgraded significantly for the flaws on the reverse and the ink notation on the front, which are not a true reflection of the card's outstanding condition). Those two condition anomalies notwithstanding, the card displays an overall Excellent appearance and is an outstanding example of this highly prized Negro League rarity. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $5,333
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