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Lot # 142 (142 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

Circa 1880s Baseball Team Cabinet Photograph

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $240

Circa 1880s cabinet photo picturing an unidentified baseball team posing together outdoors in front of a house or barn. Four of the nine players are holding bats, while one, presumably the pitcher, holds a baseball in his hand. An early wire catcher's mask appears in the foreground. What distinguishes this team photo from other nineteenth-century examples is the nature of the uniforms. All of the players are dressed in identical pants and hats, both of which feature stripes. The shirts, however, are all different in either color or style, with the exception of two players wearing an identical striped jersey. For a short time in the 1880s the color or design pattern of jerseys was reflective not of the team, but of the respective player's position on the field (i.e., a first baseman would wear a red jersey, a second baseman would wear a striped jersey, etc.). Perhaps the jersey diversity seen here is a result of that short-lived practice. Like many team baseball cabinets from this era, there are few clues to help identify this club - not even a photographer's credit, which would at least allow for the assignation of a town or state. As such, it simply remains an elegant, albeit anonymous, photographic image recording a brief moment in time in baseball's evolution. The cabinet (7 x 4.25 inches) displays moderate-to-heavy wear along the corners, as well as a few light stains and stray pencil marks on the reverse. Graded Fair 20 by SGC. It should be noted that the technically accurate grade reflects the aforementioned flaws to the mount. The photo itself is free of any significant defects and presents as Excellent. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $240


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