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Circa 1877 Harry Wright Signed Cabinet Card
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $21,150.00
Superb signed presentation studio cabinet of Harry Wright, the "father of professional baseball," signed in ink on the reverse "Compliments of Harry Wright" ("8"), and dating from his managerial tenure with the Boston Red Stockings, circa 1877. The photographer's credit, "Randall - Detroit," appears in print along the base of the mount. We have seen other examples of this Randall cabinet photograph of Wright and, based on the fact that this example is signed, suspect that Wright had these made personally to give as keepsakes to friends and admirers. Harry Wright ranks among the most influential baseball figures of the nineteenth century. In 1869 he founded and managed the Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first all-professional team. He later managed Boston's entry in both the National Association and National League, winning seven league titles combined over the course of eleven seasons with the club. He also enjoyed successful runs as manager of Providence and Philadelphia, before retiring in 1893. Wright is credited with developing a number of important innovations still in use today including the use of hand signals to his players, the constant repositioning of fielders in response to batter's tendencies, pre-game batting and fielding practice, and the use of statistics with regard to managerial strategy. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953. The photo has outstanding clarity and contrast and is in Excellent to Mint condition. The mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches) exhibits light corner wear and surface paper loss on the reverse from having long ago been mounted and removed from an album. The salutation and signature are very strong though there is some darkening on the mount in the area of the signature. From the Barry Halper Collection. Harry Wright signatures are extremely rare, especially on cabinet cards. LOAs from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500+. SOLD FOR $21,150.00
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