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1894 Baltimore Orioles Team Cabinet Including McGraw, Keeler, and Jennings (Alpha Photo-Engraving Portrait Images)
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $4,406.25
This extremely rare team cabinet card features cameo portraits of sixteen members of the 1894 National League Champion Baltimore Orioles: Ned Hanlon (Mgr.), John McGraw, Wee Willie Keeler, Hughie Jennings, Dan Brouthers, Wilbert Robinson, Kid Gleason, Steve Brodie, Boileryard Clarke, Joe Kelley, Heinie Reitz, Sadie McMahon, Bill Hawke, Duke Esper, Gorge Hemming, and Frank Bonner. Each player is pictured in formal attire, complete with boutonniere, and is identified in print below his respective image. Of special note is the fact that the portrait images used on this cabinet card are the very same as those which appear in the 1894 Baltimore Orioles Alpha Photo-Engraving card set. The photographer's name and address ("Betz - 415 & 417 N. Washington St., Baltimore, Md.") are printed along the base of the mount. The year "1894" is displayed at the top as part of the photograph's elaborate design, which also includes a small American flag with a diagonal stripe reading "Champions." The Orioles captured their first of three consecutive pennants in 1894. The team also won World Championships in 1896 and 1897, thus firmly establishing the Orioles as the top team of the decade. The Orioles, aside from their obvious talent on the field, are also remembered today for their fiery demeanor and, at times, their total disregard for the rules of the game. Led by future Hall of Famer John McGraw, the team adopted a "win at all costs" mentality that included tripping and holding opposing players as they ran the bases, spiking players, and hiding balls in the tall outfield grass on defense. Baseball team cabinet cards from the 1890s are particularly rare, far more so than cabinets from the 1880s, and an example of the Baltimore Orioles is especially significant. The mounted photograph displays a tiny border tear along the left edge and a tack hole in the upper right corner (neither of which affects any of the portrait images), otherwise it is in Excellent condition. The cabinet-card mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches) is in Good condition with wear to the naturally rounded corners, a small area of surface paper loss (affecting a portion of the photographer's address) in the lower right, and a small piece of clear tape (very unobtrusive and removable if desired) covering part of the photographer's name. Three areas of tape residue remain on the reverse from the card having once been mounted in an album. This is a rare team composite cabinet photograph of one of the greatest teams of the nineteenth century, a team for which very few cards of any kind exist. A higher grade example of this rare 1894 Baltimore Orioles team cabinet card appeared as Lot #108 in REA's May 2007 auction and sold for $9,987. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $4,406.25
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