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1888 Sporting Times Supplement with Harry Wright - "Opening Day at the Polo Grounds, 1888"
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $1,175.00
Offered here is an incredibly rare heretofore unknown photographic poster supplement to the Sporting Times capturing the opening day festivities at the Polo Grounds on Wednesday, April 25, 1888. This spectacular panoramic image pictures the New York Giants posing with their opponents, the Philadelphia Quakers, prior to the start of the game. Both teams, along with assorted dignitaries, are posed in front of the filled-to-capacity grandstand. Giants manager "Gentleman" Jim Mutrie, sporting his trademark handlebar mustache, is clearly visible standing in the center, nattily attired in a suit and top hat, as is Philadelphia manager Harry Wright, who is standing to Mutrie's left. While the players are not individually identified, in addition to Harry Wright, also included are future Hall of Famers Buck Ewing, Roger Connor, Jim O'Rourke, Mickey Welch, and Tim Keefe. The printed caption along the lower margin reads "Opening Day At The Polo Grounds, 1888 - The New York And Philadelphia Clubs, - As they were Photographed before the first Championship Game in this City." The copyright notice, "Copyrighted by N. Y. Sporting Times Pub. Co.," appears in the lower left corner of the photo. "Supplement To The Sporting Times, Vol. II., No. 12." is printed along the top border. This piece was one in a find of seven different Sporting Times baseball photo supplements from this series that surfaced just last year. Prior to their discovery, all were previously unknown, and are thus unique. The offered supplement is by far the most substantial of the find. It is distinguished by the fact that it is the only one of the discovered group to feature more than one team (each of the others pictured a team photo of one ball club) and is also by far the most significant in terms of its photographic content. The Quakers defeated the Giants 5-3 on opening day at the Polo Grounds in 1888. While the fans may have left the grounds disappointed that day, they would have plenty to cheer about in months to come as the Giants won the pennant and then dispatched the St. Louis Browns in the World Series to capture their first of two consecutive World Championships. The supplement (18.5 x 13.5 inches) is printed on thin paper stock and has a few very minor edge tears (one of which has been repaired on the reverse with clear tape) and a few insignificant light stains in the white border areas. The central image is free of any defects and the piece is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Because of their large size and thin stock, it is not surprising that supplements from this impressive series have not survived, with the exception of the one recent find that included this prize example. This supplement is in remarkable condition! We are pretty confident that we won't ever see another example of this fascinating rarity. The supplement is ideal for display, as intended, and is one of the most interesting and substantial display supplements we have ever seen from this era. The mailing tube in which the supplement was discovered (postmarked 1947) accompanies. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,175.00
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