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Circa 1903 Royal Rooters Membership Document and Circa 1910 Royal Rooters Signed Menu
Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $822.50
During the late 1890s, Boston’s most diehard baseball fans were organized into a cohesive group by saloon keeper Michael T. “Nuf Ced" McGreevy. Calling themselves the “Royal Rooters,” the group’s informal membership quickly grew into the hundreds. Each year the most fanatical Rooters often accompanied the Red Sox to spring training and important road games. Offered here are two rare souvenirs relating to two of the Royal Rooters’ legendary road trips. The first dates from the Red Sox’s 1910 spring training trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas. For some reason, “Nuf Ced” McGreevy was unable to make the trip with the club that year. To raise his spirits, the attending Rooters sent him a makeshift postcard in the form of a menu from the Arlington Grill Room in Hot Springs. The front of the menu is addressed to McGreevy and is dated “Red Sox – March 1910” along the top border. The postmark is dated “March 21, 1910.” The reverse bears the salutation “To ‘Nuf Ced’ – from the Bunch,” and has been signed in pencil by sixteen members of the Royal Rooters including sportswriter Timothy Murnane, C. F. Madden, William Cahill, Herman Nickerson, and S. D. Flanagan. The menu (4.25 x 7.75 inches) displays a few light areas of discoloration and is otherwise in Excellent condition. The second piece, which is undated, is a document titled “Rooters Excursion” on the cover. Inside are fifteen typed pages listing the names and addresses of 458 Royal Rooters. This is apparently the official record of members, at least at one point in time, for the Royal Rooters, and therefore represents, in spirit, the very heart and soul of the legendary Royal Rooters as an organization. We don't know if this document is from 1903 or a different year, but with 458 names it clearly dates from their heyday, and the fact that the cover is titled "Rooters Excursion" suggests that this was actually a list of members intending to travel to a particular event. For so many members to plan to travel, the series must have been extremely important. The 1903 World Series, in Pittsburgh, is consistent with an event of such magnitude, and the Royal Rooters did travel en masse to Pittsburgh for the away games of the 1903 World Series, to root for the Red Sox and, of course, unnerve the Pirates. The cover of the document lists the leaders of the Rooters, including McGreevy, Lavis, Watson, and Cahill, as well as the Chairman, J. F. Fitzgerald (a local politician and the grandfather of future President John Fitzgerald Kennedy), and the secretary, M. J. Regan. The document (13 x 8 inches, unfolded) is in Very Good condition, with the rear cover having become detached (still present with the piece). Accompanied by a 1911 “Red Sox Special – Coast to Coast” envelope, which was specially printed to commemorate the team's spring-training trip to California that year. The lightly toned envelope (9.5 x 4 inches) bears no address and has never been mailed (Ex). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $400. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $822.50
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