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1892 A. G. Mills Signed Imperial Photo
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $928.00
Presented here is the finest A. G. Mills (1844-1929) signed photo in existence. This is an extraordinary display photograph, created for special presentation and at great expense. The imperial cabinet photo, measuring an impressive 10.5 x 17 inches, captures Mills in full military garb and has been both inscribed and dated by the former National League President (1883-84) on the reverse. Mills has beautifully signed the back "Yours Faithfully A. G. Mills-Comdr Lafayette Post-Sept 22/92." Both the black fountain pen inscription and signature have been penned in grandiose fashion (the signature alone measures 3.5 inches in length), grading a perfect "10." Mills, of course, is best known today for his role in fostering the Abner Doubleday "creation" myth with regards to the invention of baseball. As head of the commission which bore his name, Mills, along with a select group of baseball researchers, concluded in 1907 that the game of baseball was invented in 1939 in Cooperstown, N.Y., by former Civil War general Abner Doubleday. Although historians have since proved that Doubleday had nothing to do with the origin of the game, the myth continues to live on to this day. Throughout his life Mills was a fervent fan of the game, and in his memoirs he recalls packing his bat and ball along with his field equipment during the Civil War. Mills even took part in the famous "Christmas Day" baseball game in 1862, played at Hilton Head, South Carolina, between the 165th New York Volunteer Infantry Duryea's Zouaves and a handpicked nine from other Union army regiments. Following the war, Mills, who was a practicing attorney at the time, helped draft the 1877 League Alliance, which ended the practice of teams raiding the rosters of other clubs. Following the death of William Hulbert in 1882, Mills ascended to the position of National League president. While in office he once again sought to make peace between the rival leagues and was instrumental in the adoption of the "National Agreement of Professional Base Ball Clubs." That document, which created baseball's infamous "reserve clause," would remain the focal point of player resentment for nearly 100 years. A rift between Mills and the league owners over the reinstatement of players from the one-year Union Association ended in his resignation as National League president in 1884; however, he remained close to the game for much of his later life. His final years were spent in the promotion of amateur athletics, and prior to his death in 1929 he was actively involved with the planning of the 1932 Olympics. The photograph has flawless contrast. The mount displays small tack holes at each corner. A small unobtrusive abrasion does not detract in the least from its spectacular overall Excellent appearance. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $928.00
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