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1929 Philadelphia A's Team-Signed Presentation Photo Album
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $9,988
In 1929 the New York Yankees fabled baseball dynasty was overthrown by one equally impressive in both talent and duration: the 1929-1931 Philadelphia Athletics. In commemoration of the club's first World Championship in 1929, the Athletics commissioned the creation of an extremely high quality special presentation photo album from H. Madonna Wagner Photographic Studios, specifically to be given to players as a keepsake. The professionally bound album with cloth covers features twenty-nine individual sepia photos (5 x 9 inches) of team members and executives. Twenty-eight of the twenty-nine photos have been beautifully signed on the front by the respective individual. (Note: it is highly likely that the reason the one photo of Jimmie Cronin is unsigned is simply because this was his album.) This is one of the most impressive team-signed presentation pieces we have ever seen and the fact that it commemorates what, in many people's opinion, is the greatest team ever assembled (with all due respect to the 1927 Yankees) makes it all the more significant. The gilt-stamped letters on the cover identify the contents and make special note of both its presentation status and the photographer: "Snapshots/THE WORLD'S CHAMPIONS/BASEBALL CLUB OF 1929/TO MY FRIENDS/H. MADONNA WAGNER" The interior signed photos are comprised of the following: Thomas Shibe (team owner), Connie Mack (manager), Eddie Collins, Wm."Kid" Gleason (coach and former manager of the 1919 "Black" Sox), Earle Mack (coach), Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Boley, Steve Pflegler, George Burns, George Earnshaw, Al Simmons, Jack Quinn, Bing Miller, Lefty Grove, George Haas, Rube Walberg, Max Bishop, Jimmy Dykes, Eddie Rommel, Sam Hale, Bill Shores, Howard Ehmke, Walter French, Cy Perkins, Homer Summa, Lefty Yerkes, and "Bevo" LeBourveau. The one unsigned photo as noted is that of Jimmie Cronin. The signatures, penned in a variety of fountain-pen inks (mainly black or blue) range from "7" to "10," averaging "9," with the exception of Earle Mack and Eddie Rommel, both of which are faint ("4/5"). Each of the photos, which bears the photographer's embossed stamp near the base, has been mounted (by means of adhesive on the reverse) to its respective album. Aside from some minor rippling, the photos remain in Excellent to Mint condition overall. These are high-quality professional photos. They have been protected from all elements including light so it is not surprising that all are very impressive images with outstanding contrast. The exterior covers of the album (12 x 7.25 inches) display moderate wear, including light abrasions and spotting. The extreme rarity of these albums is naturally due to the fact that they were distributed only to team members and front office executives. While by definition few were issued, fewer still have survived. This is the first example we have ever offered. The album is housed in its original box (Vg). From the Ron Menchine Collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $9,988
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