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1948 Homestead Grays Team Photo with Buck Leonard
Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $1,080
Original photo capturing the 1948 Homestead Grays, champions of the Negro League World Series, posing together on the field. Included here are future Hall of Famer Buck Leonard (standing, far left), Sam Bankhead, Luke Easter, Vic Harris, Bob Thurman, Wilmer Fields, R.T. Walker, Luis Marquez, Garnett Bankhead, Clarence Bruce, Eudie Napier, and Frank Thompson. The photographer's credit ("Ted Moss") appears in the lower right corner. Although the photo is undated, the year can be conclusively pinpointed to 1948 based upon the identified players. 1948 represented the last championship season in Grays franchise history, making this a significant, and certainly a historic, rarity. This is the first example of this image we have ever handled and we cannot recall having seen another. The Homestead Grays, founded by Cum Posey in 1912, were one of the most fabled teams in Negro League history. After deliberately choosing not to affiliate the Grays with any organized league for many years, Posey finally decided to join the Negro National League in 1935. It turned out to be a bad move, but only for the other clubs in the league. Powered by a lineup featuring Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard, the Grays proceeded to win nine Negro National League championships and three Negro World Series titles between the years 1937 and 1948, thereby cementing the club's reputation as one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history. The Negro Leagues were effectively reduced to a minor-league circuit following the 1948 season due to integration at the major league level and the Grays eventually disbanded in 1950. The photo (10 x 8 inches), which is mounted at the corners onto a slightly larger cardboard backing, displays a heavy vertical and horizontal crease, as well as numerous moderate-to-heavy creases throughout. In Good condition overall. Reserve $400. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,080
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