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1883 Harry Wright Personal Score Book (Aug. 4 to Sept. 4)
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $4,930.00
Green soft-cover gilt-edged 48-page volume entitled "Harry Wright's Pocket Baseball Score Book" was actually used personally by Harry Wright, then manager of the 1883 Providence Grays of the National League, to score the team's games while sitting in the dugout. Included in this volume are twenty-two scored games, each completely filled out in Harry Wright's hand in pencil. This volume covers all Providence Grays games played from August 4, 1883 to September 4, 1883. Harry Wright has neatly initialed twelve games "H.W." in the space provided for the identification of the scorer on each game score sheet. Some of the many stars on the Providence and opposing teams (Buffalo, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia) listed in Wright's hand are Old Hoss Radbourn, Dan Brouthers, Jim O'Rourke, Pud Galvin, Davy Force, John Ward, Buck Ewing, Roger Connor, Mickey Welch, Joe Start, and Paul Hines. Several exhibition games with top semi-pro clubs are also included. Among the many highlights recorded in this book, is the especially noteworthy game scored for August 21, 1883 in which Art Hagan of the Philadelphia Quakers lost to Hoss Radbourn and the Grays by a score of 28-0. That game, to this day, is the most one-sided shut out in Major League history. The Quakers made twenty errors in the game. Just as with the other volume offered in this auction, the games are very neatly and meticulously scored by Wright in his hand. A colorful front cover of a period baseball scorecard has been neatly attached to the back cover of the book, almost certainly by Wright. These volumes have a very interesting history. Many years ago almost all of the known volumes of Harry Wright's score books, which span the years 1879 to 1892, were owned by extremely reclusive collector Bruce Foster of Philadelphia, one of baseball collecting's earliest serious book collectors. Each year of games was represented by a number of soft-covered score books, like those offered in this auction, and each year's worth were bound together into a single hardcover volume by Harry Wright. The historical significance of these score books caused a great sensation when discovered in Foster's collection following his passing in the 1980s. The Sporting News published an article about the discovery, previously unknown to scholars and the collecting world, giving the hobby rare national exposure relating to nineteenth-century baseball memorabilia. Almost all of the bound volumes of score books have remained intact. The 1883 book has been separated into its original smaller complete soft cover volumes, thus allowing for the offering of several relatively more affordable yet still complete examples of Harry Wright's personal score books. Both score books offered in this auction originate from the original 1883 complete-year bound volume. An extremely important early baseball score book from one of nineteenth-century collecting's most fascinating discoveries, dating from the season of 1883, personally kept by and once belonging to Harry Wright. Excellent condition. LOAs from Mike Gutierrez/GAI and James Spence & Steve Grad/PSA DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $4,930.00
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