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Lot # 1229 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Ted Kennedy Collection: Baseball Player-Entrepeneur-Inventor (6 items)

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $588

Before making the majors and before being immortalized in the N172 Old Judge set (he appears in six poses), Ted Kennedy was a pitching sensation with the Keokuk, Iowa, club of the Western League, having once struck out twenty-four batters in a game, including seventeen in succession. The fame generated by his performance in Iowa drew the attention of several big league clubs, landing him a roster spot on Cap Anson's 1885 National League Champion Chicago White Stockings, where he finished the season with a 7-2 record. Unfortunately, he suffered a sore arm at the end of the year from which he never fully recovered. In 1886, with the Philadelphia and Louisville clubs of the American Association, he ended the year with a dismal 5-19 record. Over the next several seasons he attempted to regain his form in the Western Association but his once promising major league career was over. Undaunted, being a natural entrepreneur, and perhaps inspired by White Stockings owner Albert Spalding, Kennedy began designing and manufacturing gloves and baseball equipment. He also developed a home-correspondence course on pitching that included a specially designed ball marked to show students where to grip the ball for various pitches as well as written instructions. His baseball inventions were revolutionary but met with only modest commercial success and he eventually sold his baseball-related patents to the A. G. Spalding Company. An inveterate inventor, he later drew up plans for an automatic pitching machine and an electric scoreboard. He passed away in 1907 when he was accidentally electrocuted while testing what was said to be the first electric burglar alarm in St. Louis. Today, most of Kennedy's glove samples, designs, papers, home-correspondence school literature and brochures, and advertising pieces reside in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Offered here are six items originating from the Kennedy family relating to Kennedy's career as a baseball-equipment manufacturer and pitching instructor. 1-2) Two signed bank checks. Each is drawn on the Commonwealth Trust Company of St. Louis, Missouri, and signed by Kennedy on the front in black fountain pen (grading "10"). One, made out to himself, is dated July 15, 1907 and is endorsed by Kennedy on the reverse, thereby making it a triple-signed check. The other is dated October 17, 1907, (eleven days prior to his death) and is made out to the "Conroy Piano Company." Each check (8.75 x 3.25 inches) displays normal bank cancellation stamps and perforations, and light folds. Vg-Ex. 3) Single sheet of Kennedy's "Professional Base Ball Goods" letterhead (8.5 x 11 inches) featuring his portrait photo in the upper left corner (Vg). 4) Ted Kennedy advertising card (3.75 x 5 inches). The card features Kennedy's portrait image on the front and his references on the reverse (Vg-Ex, small stain along the bottom border). 5-6) Two original circa 1905 cyanotype photographs featuring Kennedy in demonstration of how to throw a curve ball. These rare and fascinating photographs date from when Kennedy was the first hitting coach in baseball history with St. Louis. One pictures a full image of him in uniform (5 x 6.75 inches), while the other shows a close-up of his grip (5 x 4 inches). Both Vg-Ex. Total: 6 items (2 checks, 2 photos, letterhead, and advertising card). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $588


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