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1924 Negro League World Series Program - One of Only a Few Known Examples!
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $3,000
Exceedingly rare program issued for the first-ever Negro League World Series, in 1924. This is the only example of this program we have ever handled and we can recall having seen just two other examples over the years. The program is titled "East versus West/For/World's Colored Championship/1924." The cover also includes a cartoon illustration and notes the participants: "Hilldale - Champions Eastern Colored League vs. Kansas City - Champions Negro National League." The preprinted lineups for each team appear on the interior front cover and include Mackey, Santop, J. Johnson, Warfield, and Cockrell for Hilldale, and Rogan, Hawkins, Allen, O. Johnson, McNair, Moore, and Joseph for Kansas City. The program's twenty pages include team photos of each club, as well as numerous individual player photos and short biographies of most of the participants, including "Bullet Joe" Rogan, Jose Mendez, Frank Warfield, Judy Johnson, Louis Santop, and Biz Mackey.
The 1924 Negro League World Series was a best-of-nine match up, and to maximize attendance, the Series took place in a number of cities: Philadelphia (Games 1 and 2), Baltimore (Games 3 and 4), Kansas City (Games 5, 6 and 7), and Chicago (Games 8 and 9). This program was intended for issue at each venue; however, it is interesting to note that many more pages are devoted to Hilldale than Kansas City. Ten games were eventually necessary to complete the Series because Game 3 ended in a 6-6 tie. Kansas City finally emerged as the Champions, winning the tenth and deciding game by a score of 5-0. The program (6 x 9 inches), which is not scored, displays significant wear throughout, including a heavy vertical fold and light toning/soiling to the covers. Restoration has addressed a number of significant condition flaws, including both reattachment and reinforcement along the spine to the front and back covers, as well as to all of the interior pages. Two new staples replace the originals. There has also been restoration and conservation to a number of tears on the back cover and a few interior pages. It must be noted that the restoration has addressed nearly all of the most significant flaws and the program now has a Very Good appearance overall. This is probably one of the few instances where the extreme rarity and historical significance of a piece so outweighs any other factors that condition is almost irrelevant. While we do not know exactly how many examples of this program exist (as noted previously, we know of three; there may be others hidden away in attics), the fact that the total attendance for the ENTIRE ten-game series was only 45,857 suggests that few new examples are likely to surface. This is a remarkably significant and fascinating rarity. As a point of reference, this program first appeared as Lot 1274 in REA's April 2014 auction, where it realized $4,444. It has been consigned directly by the original purchaser. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,000
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