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1910 Addie Joss Original Photograph
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $9,988
Exceedingly rare original news photo of Hall of Fame pitcher Addie Joss, who passed away tragically in 1911 at the age of thirty-one from tubercular meningitis. This may be the only surviving original of this extraordinary high-quality photo. We have never seen another. The waist-length image pictures Joss wearing his Cleveland team sweater with arms overhead. Because of his early death, original Addie Joss photos in general are rare and seldom offered at public sale. This example is one of only a few we have ever seen. Although no original year stamp appears on the reverse, the photo can be conclusively dated to 1910, which was Joss' final season, based upon the hat style shown here. The cap worn by Joss is a dark solid color with no lines running through it. During Joss' nine-year tenure with Cleveland (1902-1910), the only season in which the team wore such hats was in 1910. Joss was not only one of the greatest pitchers of his era, but one of the game's most well-liked and respected players. Cleveland's home opener in April 1911 was canceled so players could attend his funeral and later that year a special memorial all-star game was held by the players to raise money for his family. On the mound, Joss had few equals. He twice led the American League in ERA and his lifetime ERA of 1.89 is second only to Ed Walsh. In his nine seasons he won twenty or more games four times, including a career-high 27 wins in 1907. A perfect game and no-hitter are also among his impressive list of achievements. Because Joss only played nine seasons, one fewer than required for Hall of Fame eligibility, his election to the Hall was delayed until 1978, when the Veteran's Committee finally decided to overlook the rule and let him take his rightful place alongside the game's other immortals. The photo displays a "Gilliams Press" stamp on the reverse. It also bears a date stamp of 1953, which was the last year this photo was used for publishing purposes (in the old days, original photos in newspaper files often had very long life spans for use, often many decades; a cut clipping of the 1953 newspaper article in which it probably last appeared is also affixed to the reverse). A number of period handwritten editorial notations, including Joss' name (written twice), also appear on the reverse. The photo (6.5 x 4.5 inches), which has flawless clarity and exceptional detail, displays two tiny border chips, light surface wrinkles, and a minor corner crease. In Very Good condition overall. Accompanying the photo is a January, 1910 M101-2 Sporting News supplement of Addie Joss (Gd-Vg), which is ideal for display together with the photograph. Total 2 items. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $9,988
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