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1896 Baltimore Orioles Team Pin
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,320
Extremely rare Baltimore Orioles team pin commemorating the club's 1896 World Championship season. The front of the pin features a formal studio photograph of sixteen team members posing together in uniform, including manager Ned Hanlon, John McGraw, Wilbert Robinson, Hughie Jennings, Joe Kelley, Arlie Pond, and Steve Brodie. This pin should not be confused with a similarly designed pin issued in 1906 to commemorate the club's ten-year anniversary. That 1906 pin, which originally featured a ribbon as well (though is usually found with ribbon missing), is larger (1.75 diameter) and includes the lettering "Our Old Champions" along the top border and "Champions of '96/Baltimore Base Ball Club" along the bottom border. Another major difference between the two pins is the photo. The offered pin features the original studio photo of the club, complete with all of the background scenery. The 1906 pin does not included the background scenery and, most important, includes the images of two additional team members (Joe Quinn and Jim Donnelly), which were added to the original photo! While we cannot state positively that the offered pin was produced in 1896, the fact that it features the original studio photograph and none of the other added design elements of the 1906 issue, leads us to believe that it dates from the club's 1896 championship season. Also, this is the only example of this pin we have ever seen, whereas a number of 1906 pins are known and have come to auction in the past twenty years. Baltimore captured its third consecutive National League pennant in 1896 and then continued its success in the postseason by sweeping the Cleveland Spiders four games to none in the Temple Cup. (The Temple Cup matched the National League's first and second place finishers in a best-of-seven postseason series to determine the World Champions.) The offered pin (1.25 diameter) displays light oxidation on the reverse and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. The pin has been bordered with an ornate, brass-colored frame, which attaches by means of four small tabs along the reverse (easily removed if so desired). Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,320
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