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1900 Milwaukee (vs. Indianapolis) Program - Inaugural American League Season
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $2,115
Extraordinary Milwaukee program of the American League, dating from 1900, the first year of the American League, the year before the league was officially declared a Major League. In 1893 Ban Johnson took over the duties as president of the Western League, a struggling minor league. Under Johnson's leadership the Western League quickly flourished and by the turn of the century was considered the strongest minor league circuit in the country. Johnson was ambitious however, and in 1900 he changed the name of the league to the American League in anticipation of his next big move: declaring the American League to be a second Major League in 1901. The bold gamble worked. The American League was not only successful in gaining a foothold in major cities, but also lured many of the top National League stars to its rosters. As a result, American League attendance topped that of the National League during its first two seasons. In 1903 the National League, realizing that Johnson's upstart league was here to stay, acquiesced and signed a new National Agreement that formally recognized the American League as a second Major League. This rare program dates to the American League's historic inaugural season in 1900. The sixteen-page program, issued for a game between Milwaukee and Indianapolis held in Milwaukee, features a colorful cover design that incorporates an illustrated baseball motif together with a number of various advertisements. The interior pages include Milwaukee's full schedule, plus "News and Comments" from the world of baseball. The preprinted lineups include Hartsel, Seybold, Hogriever, Magoon and Heydon for Indianapolis and Waldron, Conroy, Anderson, Burke, and Reidy for Milwaukee. (The Indianapolis lineup is preprinted on a sheet which was then affixed to the score page, as originally issued.) The score pages are neatly scored in pencil and record an 11-8 Indianapolis victory. Milwaukee remained a member of the American League in 1901. The following year the franchise was relocated to St. Louis, where they became the St. Louis Browns. Indianapolis was less fortunate with regard to the American League's bold declaration in 1901 and was one of a number of teams that Johnson replaced with a more economically viable club. Very little has survived from the 1900 American League season. This is the first and only program from the 1900 American League that we have ever offered or seen. The program (6 x 9 inches) displays a vertical fold and small creases to both covers. A few stray pencil notations appear along the top portion of the front cover, including one that reads "1st Year of American League - Indianapolis at Milwaukee 1900." Very substantial, colorful, and ideal for display. In Very Good condition. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $2,115
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