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Bill McKechnie 1914 Federal League Championship Award
Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $8,225.00
Extremely rare Federal League championship medal presented to Hall of Famer Bill McKechnie in 1914. Important items relating to the short-lived Federal League (1941-1915) are almost nonexistent, and of the few that have survived, the offered piece can lay claim for consideration as the most significant. An example of this substantial championship award was issued to each member of the Indianapolis Hoosiers in honor of their pennant-winning performance in the Federal League’s inaugural season. This is the equivalent of the 1914 World Series ring for the Federal League, issued during the era predating championship rings, when pendants were the standard issue of commemorative jewelry awarded to championship teams. The 14K-gold medal features a baseball glove design in the center with crossed bats in the background. A white enameled baseball is displayed in the center of the glove. The elaborate design includes fancy wreath accents to the left and right and is completed by a blue-enamel border along the top and bottom that is lettered “Champions of the Federal League – 1914” in gold. The reverse is engraved “W. B. McKechnie.” The Federal League award has a rare and ideal provenance which can be traced directly to the McKechnie family, who sold it in 1992. It is accompanied by a copy of the original LOA signed by McKechnie’s grandson. Bill McKechnie was one of many players who “jumped” to the newly formed Federal League in 1914. For McKechnie, it proved to be quite fortuitous, as he enjoyed his finest season as a professional. A normally light-hitting third baseman, he batted .305 with 2 home runs, 38 RBI, 47 stolen bases, and 107 runs scored (second-best mark in the league, behind teammate Benny Kauff). The following year the team moved to Newark, where McKechnie later also served as manager of the club. The Federal League disbanded after the 1915 season and McKechnie returned to the National League, playing with New York, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh before retiring in 1920. Although he was considered a steady player during his day, McKechnie’s Hall of Fame selection was based solely upon his managerial career. He won four pennants and two World Champions during his twenty-four years in the National League and was known as one of the game’s finest defensive tacticians. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962. The medal measures approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. This is an extraordinary 1914 Federal League championship award, which to the best of our knowledge is the only example known in private hands. In Near Mint to Mint condition. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000++. SOLD FOR $8,225.00
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