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1871 Ft. Wayne Kekionga B.B.C. J.A. Pierce & Co. Advertising Card
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $43,500.00
Newly discovered CDV team card of the 1871 Ft. Wayne Kekiongas B.B.C., issued by Chicago baseball goods store J.A. Pierce & Company, one of a series of team cards featuring composite photographs of Major League teams of the then brand new National Association of Professional Baseball Players. The Ft. Wayne Kekiongas (of Ft. Wayne, Indiana) are not exactly a household name. Even we had to look them up. They played only a single season as a Major League franchise in 1871, the National Association's inaugural season, and finished a dismal season in second to last place above Rockford with a 7-21 record. In some ways, the extraordinary obscurity of the Ft. Wayne Kekiongas makes this card the most fascinating of all of the few known J.A. Pierce & Co. team cards. This is the only card known to exist of this long-forgotten team. For many of these players, this is the only card ever issued, and is possibly the only image known. Pitcher Bobby Mathews went on to become a star with several other teams, enjoying a 15-year career with 297 lifetime victories. Mathews was apparently recognized as the star of the Kekiongas as his name is larger and in all capital letters on the mount. Each J.A. Pierce & Co. card has one player identified in all capital letters and in each case this player is the most prominent player on the team. The street address for J.A. Pierce on the reverse has been changed from "117 West Madison Street" to "129 West Madison Street" by crossing out the "117" by hand and adding the "129" to the left. This change was made to reflect the store's move during 1871, which was possibly related to the Great Chicago Fire of that same year. Good condition with half-inch tear in left border, no paper loss. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $43,500.00
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