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1931 Houston Buffaloes (Texas League Champions) Panoramic Photo with Dizzy Dean!
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $420
Panoramic photo capturing twenty-four members of the 1931 Houston Buffaloes, champions of the Texas League, including future Hall of Famers Dizzy Dean and Joe Medwick. The photo captures the club standing shoulder to shoulder on the field, with each player identified in white lettering below his respective image. In addition to Dean and Medwick, the club's roster featured a number of former and future major league players, the most prominent of whom are Tex Carlton, Billy Meyers, and Earl Smith. The white-letter caption along the base reads "Texas League champions - 1931 - Houston Buffaloes." The photographer's credit "JEM Photo," appears in the lower left corner. An additional stamping on the back from a local photography store reads in part "Merchant's Photo Service/415 Louisiana St. Houston, Tex." This is an exceedingly early Dizzy Dean photo and we cannot recall having seen another example. Dean, who was just twenty-one years old in 1931, began his professional baseball career in 1930 with St. Joseph in the Western League, appearing in thirty-two games with the club before joining Houston in early August. Over the next two months Dean recorded eight wins, against just two losses, in fourteen games for Houston. Even more impressive than his 2.86 ERA was the fact that he struck out ninety-five batters in eighty-five innings while allowing just sixty-five hits. His exploits resulted in the Cardinals calling Dean up in late September so they could take a look at their prized prospect. Despite an auspicious major league debut, in which he recorded a 3-1 victory over the Pirates, the Cardinals decided Dean needed another year of seasoning with Houston. The next year he continued to dominate at the minor-league level, finishing with a league-high twenty-six wins and leading Houston to the league championship. The photo (20.5 x 5 inches) displays a number of moderate-to-heavy vertical creases, including a complete tear along one crease in the center of the photo (partially affecting the image of Hal Funk), an area of light discoloration to the left of Dean's image, and a small pencil notation above the head of shortstop Tom Carey. Fortunately, the tear can be easily addressed by professional restoration, and aside from that, the photo has an overall Very Good to Excellent appearance. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $420
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