Thursday, April 08, 2010

REA's Spring Auction

This years Spring 2010 Roberts Edwards Auction is filled with everything you might expect from a premier seller. There is a T206 Honus Wagner to the holy grail of Joe Jackson cards that was once owned by super collector Barry Halper.  You can bid on a huge lot of 1880's Old Judge's, or on just one rare Old Judge of a 1889 California League player from San Francisco.  That one card will probably eclipse the price paid for the lot of 394 cards.  A Cobb with a Cobb back, a Babe Ruth rookie, some Kalamazoo Bats, an Alpha Photo Engraving and a sheet of uncut Obak's can be had.  Heck, there are even over 100 original drawings used for the 1953 Topps baseball card set that come directly from the collection of former Topps executive and father of the modern Baseball card, Sy Berger.  It is absolutely remarkable the quality of stuff they have unearthed.

Before I highlight some great Dodger stuff, that will come over the next several days, I thought I would first delve a bit into Baseball history.  

Below is a fabulous CDV featuring the 1875 Hartford Blues.  What makes this significant is that is includes Hall of Fame pitcher Candy Cummings, the inventor of the curve ball, and Lip Pike, the first known Jewish ballplayer.  Photos of these two gentlemen are exceedingly rare.  Cummings is standing at the center, and Pike is seated second on the left. 

Thought to be one of only 10 or so examples known to exist, this CDV is a brand new find to add to that number.  It was found by the seller on eBay in a stack of random 19th century CDV's.
This piece was purchased by our consignor on eBay as part of a collection of random nineteenth-century CDVs, none of which, besides this one, was baseball related. Our consignor just happened to spot it in the image provided by the eBay seller, literally buried in the large group photo of the lot, but peeking out from the group just enough to allow for probable identification of the CDV as the 1875 Hartford club. The buyer's hundreds (perhaps thousands) of hours of diligently looking through old photographs on eBay for a needle-in-a-haystack "find" were finally rewarded by this 1875 Hartford CDV.
That's what I call a great eye.
(click the pic to enlarge)
Auction Link:

Below is a team cabinet of the 1888 Syracuse Stars.  This piece is important because standing on the left is Major League Baseballs first black ballplayer, Moses Fleetwood Walker.  Also, seated on the left is another black ballplayer named Robert Higgins.  I know your asking yourself, "wasn't Jackie the first?"  Yes and no.  I'll let the auction description explain it all.
Moses Walker's professional career began in 1883 when he signed with the Toledo Blue Stockings, a team in the Northwestern League. The following season, Toledo joined the American Association, a Major League that formed in 1882 as a rival to the National League. Thus, with Toledo's entry into the American Association, Walker became the first black player in Major League history. Later in the year, his brother Weldy also joined the club. The following season the Toledo club folded due to financial problems, thereby ending the Major League careers of both Walker and his brother. They would remain the only black players in Major League history until Jackie Robinson debuted with the Dodgers in 1947. Walker continued to play ball in a number of integrated minor leagues over the next few years; however, the overt racism of the time, of both fans and players, soon led to the abolition of integration in organized baseball. The most important event leading to the ban on black ballplayers in organized baseball occurred on July 14, 1887, and involved Walker. On that date the Chicago White Stockings, managed by Cap Anson, were scheduled to play an exhibition game against Newark, whose members included Walker and another black player named George Stovey. Anson, baseball's reigning superstar at the time as well as an affirmed racist, would not allow his team to take the field unless Walker and Stovey were removed from the lineup. Anson's influence at the time was so great that his demands were quickly met by the Newark club. On that same night, galvanized by Anson's defiant stance, team owners voted to adopt a new resolution that would ban the signing of any new black ballplayers. Organized baseball's "Gentlemen's Agreement" to not allow black ballplayers to play in the same leagues as white ballplayers evolved overnight into an accepted formal policy, supported by the most powerful ruling forces of organized baseball. Walker, who left the league in 1889, would be the last black player to play in the Major Leagues until 1947.
Read more about this in the auction description, here, for more interesting history items.
(click the pic to enlarge) 
Auction Link:

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