Thursday, May 19, 2011

REA: Not Just Vintage But Historic, Part 1

As I had written yesterday, REA recently closed up their always anticipated annual auction, and it was filled with Baseball history. The quality of the artifacts that come through their doors is amazing as their catalogs have become more than just guides for the auction. They are history books about the game. I hope that all of this stuff eventually makes its way into a museum. Although, I can't blame an owner for wanting to financially benefit from them.

Here are a couple of items I thought were very significant and museum worthy. Check them out. I plan on following this post up with several other items pointing to the history of the game.

Here is a Baseball bat attributed to George Wright. It is believed to have been used by him during the 1869 season with the Red Stockings. From the auction description:
It is a monumental museum-caliber bat dating from circa 1869 (identical in style to those used by professional players of the era including the 1869 Red Stockings) accompanied by the two finest, most extraordinary, and desirable baseball trophy ribbons of the era (one Brooklyn Atlantics, and one Cincinnati Red Stockings), which are each the only examples known in private hands, and which could only have originated from someone directly involved with these teams during that era.
The Brooklyn Atlantics were one of the top teams in New York in 1869 and, in 1870, were the first team ever to defeat the Cincinnati Red Stockings. All silk baseball ribbons dating from the 1865 to 1875 era are extremely rare, due to both their fragile nature and the fact that they were intended to actually be worn by players, pinned to their uniforms during games. (The game's elite clubs normally exchanged team ribbons before the game and wore them on their uniforms, a practice which largely ended by 1875.)
It sold for $19,000.00.
(Auction Link)

Trophy balls are also great artifacts of the game in the 19th Century. It was common practice for the victor in important games to be presented with a game-used painted ball. It would celebrate the match with the score and any other important details. They are extremely rare and are usually only found in elite collections and museums like the Baseball Hall of Fame. This ball is notable because it features two famous New York area teams.
from an 1859 match between two of the greatest teams of the era, both New York clubs that were charter members of the National Association of Base Ball Players: the Unions of Morrisania (based in the Bronx) and the Excelsiors of Brooklyn.
This single ball sold for $20,000.00.

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