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Circa 1910 Patsy Donovan Large-Format Cabinet Photo by Carl Horner - Image Used for Donovan's M116 Sporting Life Card!
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $480
Presented is a remarkable original photograph that is as close to an artwork for the M116 Sporting Life set that we believe we will ever see: Large-format cabinet-style original photograph of outfielder Patsy Donovan, taken by noted Boston photographer Carl Horner, which was used for the production of Donovan's 1910-1911 M116 Sporting Life card. The formal studio photo (5.75 x 8.75 inches) pictures a nattily attired Donovan in a bust-length pose. The photo is partially affixed to a thin cardboard mount that is lettered along the base "Toned proof only, please give credit - Carl F. Horner: Boston." This photo, in addition to its significance as a card-related item, comes with the special provenance of having originated from the Baseball Magazine archives. Christie's sold the entire Baseball Magazine photo archive at auction in 1996 and the special hologram label from that sale is affixed to the reverse of the mount. Also appearing on the reverse of the mount, written in pencil, are the following vintage editorial notations: "P. J. Donovan/Patsy/Reduce to/2 1/2 in. long/82 x 73." This is the first original Horner photo we have ever seen relating to the production of the famous M116 set, which is universally regarded as one of the most significant and highly collectible issues of the 1910 era. Both the photo and mount (6 x 9.5 inches) remain in Excellent condition overall.
Patsy Donovan was one of the top outfielders of his era (1890-1907). and he finished his career with a .301 lifetime average and 518 stolen bases. He also served as player/manager with Pittsburgh (1897 and 1899), St. Louis (1901-1903), Washington (19040, and Brooklyn (1906-1907), before his official retirement in 1907. He continued managing Brooklyn for one more season (1908) before accepting the managerial postion with the Red Sox in 1910 and 1911. However, it was during his later employment as a scout with the Red Sox that Donovan is perhaps best remembered today. In 1914 Donovan witnessed Babe Ruth hit a home run while playing for the Baltimore Orioles and immediately returned to Boston, urging the club to purchase Ruth "at any price." The club took Donovan's advice and the rest, as they say, is history. Donovan remained in baseball for many years afterwards, as both a minor-league manager and scout, before ultimately becoming the head coach at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where one of his players was future US President George Herbert Walker Bush. Donovan died in 1953 at the age of eighty-eight. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $480
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