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1872 Boston Base Ball Association Stock Certificate Signed by "Father of Boston Baseball" Team Owner Ivers Adams
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,645
Early and significant 1872 Boston Base Ball Association Stock Certificate issued to, and signed on the reverse by, Ivers Whitney Adams, the Boston Red Stockings team's first owner. Adams was the founder and organizer of the Boston Base Ball Club of the National Association in 1871, Boston's first professional baseball franchise. He single-handedly brought the famous Red Stockings of Cincinnati, led by Harry and George Wright, to Boston, creating baseball's longest-running professional baseball city, and planting the seeds for perhaps baseball's most enthusiastic fan base. The partially preprinted and handwritten certificate, dated October 25, 1872, and numbered "3," records the purchase of five shares of Capital Stock by "I. W. Adams." It has been signed in black fountain pen by both the team president (name illegible) and treasurer (George Burditt). The reverse bears the handwritten notation "Jany 6th 73 - I hereby transfer to the B. B. B. Association all my rights and titles to the within stock" and has been signed below in black fountain pen by "I. W. Adams" (grading "9"). Boston was a charter member of the National Association, baseball's first professional league, in 1871. Managed by Harry Wright, the team featured a star-studded lineup that included George Wright, Ross Barnes, Cal McVey, and Albert Spalding. Not surprisingly, Boston dominated the league during its short five-year existence, winning four consecutive pennants from 1872 through 1875. Adams' ownership of the club was brief, as he sold the club in 1872 to Col. Charles H. Porter. His signature today is quite rare. The fact that this stock certificate, dating from the dawn of professional baseball, was also issued to him naturally adds to its historical significance. Decades ago several dozen 1870s Boston stock certificates surfaced along with various papers related to the club, possibly originating from the estate of Harry Wright. Interestingly, the Boston Baseball Association, now the Atlanta Braves, is the only club to have fielded a team every season since the inception of professional baseball. The certificate (8.75 x 5.25 inches) has two vertical folds, a few small edge tears, and a strip of light adhesive residue on the reverse (not affecting the written notations or signature), apparently from having once been mounted in an album. Bright and clean. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,645
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