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1911 World Series Prediction Original Large-Format Baseball Photo by Louis Van Oeyen
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $360
Original large-format photo (10.25 x 13.5 inches), taken by noted baseball photographer Louis Van Oeyen, picturing Ira Thomas and Jack Lapp of the Philadelphia Athletics one week prior to start of the 1911 World Series. The handwritten credit, "Van Oeyen/Photo/1911," is located in the lower right corner. The date "10-5-11" was etched into the negative and appears in white in the lower left corner (the A's were home to the New York Highlanders on that date). Thomas and Lapp are captured together sitting in the dugout at Shibe Park, each smiling broadly, as they read a newspaper. The handwritten notation along the bottom white border explains the scene: "It was predicted by all the New York Newspapers just before the Worlds Series of 1911, that the New York Giants would run wild on the bases with Thomas and Lapp catching. Did they run wild? Ask Ira and Jack." Obviously, by the expressions on their faces, Thomas and Lapp got a big kick reading about the Giants superiority on the bases (the Giants set a long-standing record of 347 stolen bases in 1911). As the notation alludes to, it was Thomas and Lapp who had the last laugh. The Giants only managed three stolen bases, out of eleven attempts, in the Series, which was won by the Athletics in five games.
Louis Van Oeyen was one of the most prominent baseball photographers of his era. His newspaper career officially began in 1901 with his coverage of President McKinley's assassination. Working for the Cleveland Press, Van Oeyen often covered a wide variety of new stories, but his greatest passion was baseball. By 1908 his reputation as one of the top cameramen in the nation earned him the title of the American League's official photographer, a position he held until 1922. Today, the largest collection of Van Oeyen's work (approximately 3,000 original negatives and corresponding photos) is housed in the Western Reserve Historical Society. Early baseball photographs of this size, especially those taken by one of the top photographers of the era, such as Van Oeyen, are scarce and have always been highly prized by collectors. The photo, which is affixed to a heavy cardboard mount, displays a large corner chip in the lower right and a smaller chip in the upper right. Other flaws include a diagonal crease (possibly a tear) in the lower right, minor creases, light water stains, a staple hole near the top border, and a stray pencil line running through Lapp's image. Good condition overall. Matted and framed to total dimension of 16.5 x 20 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $360
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