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Lot # 173 (173 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

1907 Walter Johnson "Weiser Wonder" Postcard - Walter Johnson's Personal Example!

Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $12,000

Exceedingly rare postcard picturing Walter Johnson as a member of the Weiser Baseball Club in 1907. Its rarity aside (we know of only one other example) this particular postcard comes with the unique provenance of having been Walter Johnson's personal example and originates long ago directly from Hank Thomas, Johnson's grandson. The formal studio photograph pictures Johnson posing in his Weiser uniform, while the printed caption along the bottom white border reads "Walter Johnson 'The Weiser Wonder'." A 1907 copyright date appears just to the left of Johnson's feet. Apparently, a local fan sent this postcard to Johnson after he left town that summer and made good with the Washington Senators, as the handwritten black-ink notation written along the right front border reads "Your picture is on the wall of the Vendenn Cigar Store." Johnson played with Weiser in 1906 and the first half of the 1907 season before signing with the Washington Senators in late July. While pitching for Weiser, Johnson certainly earned the nickname "The Weiser Wonder." He finished 7-1 in 1906 and in the first half of 1907 he was 14-2 with an 0.55 ERA. Add to that 214 strikeouts in 146 innings, two no-hitters and a string of seventy-seven scoreless innings, and it was no surprise that major league scouts were flocking to Weiser in droves that summer. There has always been some doubt as to the exact date this postcard was produced. Although the photo was taken in 1907, it's not known if the card was produced while Johnson was still with the club in the first half of the 1907 season, or a short time later, when he became a star at the major league level (for an educated discussion concerning the matter, please see this interesting thread on the Net54 message board: http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=160470). Regardless of its exact year of issue, it remains one of the earliest, if not the very earliest, card ever issued picturing baseball's legendary "Big Train." The fact that this was Johnson's personal example only adds to both its enormous appeal and historical significance. The postcard (3.375 x 5.25 inches), which has not been addressed on the reverse or mailed, displays rounded corners, chipping along the edges, and a few moderate creases. Surface paper loss is evident along the reverse from its having once been mounted in an album. In Good condition overall. Encapsulated by PSA, with the postcard certified as "Authentic." Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $12,000

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