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1871 Forest City BBC Large-Format Team Photograph with Deacon White - National Association Inaugural Season - From the Deacon White Collection!
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $4,800
Extremely historically significant and extraordinary in all respects large-format albumen Imperial studio display photograph capturing ten members of the 1871 Forest City Base Ball Club of Cleveland, Ohio, one of the founding members of the National Association, baseball's first professional league. Each player is pictured in his resplendent bib-front uniform, with one player holding a ball and two others each holding a bat. The team name and year, "Forest City B. B. Club 1871," is scripted in black along the base, as are the names and positions of each player, including Deacon White, his brother Elmer White, Ezra Sutton, Art Allison, Jim Carleton, and Al Pratt. Forest City was not only one of the nine founding members of the National Association in 1871, but the team also participated in the league's first game on May 4th against the Fort Wayne Kekiongas at Fort Wayne. On the basis of coin flip, Forty Wayne elected to bat last. As a result, the first recorded hit in the history of professional baseball belongs to Deacon White, who doubled for Forest City in the first inning (White also hit into the first double-play in league history). Unfortunately for White, he would not have the distinction of scoring the first run in league play, as his club was shutout by a score of 2-0. Early nineteenth-century baseball photos, especially those of this size, are exceedingly rare. This is the only 1871 Forest Citys team photo we have ever seen and the fact that it dates to the inaugural season of the National Association makes it one of the most significant nineteenth-century baseball photos imaginable. Its provenance is no less impressive. This photo originates from the personal collection of recently elected Hall of Fame catcher Deacon White and was one of a number of items from his collection that came to auction in 2006 (all were consigned directly by the White family). The photo (16 x 13 inches) displays a few small abrasions (none of which affect any of the player images) and light, scattered foxing. In Excellent condition overall. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 23 x 20 inches. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,800
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