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Circa 1928 Negro League Real-Photo Postcard with Martin Dihigo and Jud Wilson!
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $9,988
Extraordinary real-photo postcard picturing an unidentified Cuban baseball team, circa 1928. The historical significance of this piece lies in the fact that it includes two of the greatest players in Negro League history: Martin Dihigo and Jud Wilson. Dihigo is pictured standing in the second row, third from the left while Jud Wilson is seen standing next to Dihigo (second from the left). Also pictured here are Negro League players Oscar Levis (standing; far left) and Julio Rojo (standing; far right). Dihigo, Wilson, Levis, and Rojo all played for the Habana Leones (Havana Lions) of the Cuban League during the late 1920s. Both Levis and Rojo are wearing uniforms lettered "Leones" on the front, while Dihigo is wearing a different Habana uniform featuring an "H" on the left breast. All of the other players, including Wilson, are wearing uniforms bearing a "G" on the left breast. While we have been unable to identify this team, it is most likely a local sugar-mill club (perhaps from the Mantanzas region where Dihigo was from) that was lucky enough to recruit some "high-priced" talent, at least for one game. Dihigo, who is widely considered one of the greatest all-around players ever to play the game (black or white), was born in Cuba and returned there often during the winter to play ball on his native soil. Both he and Wilson terrorized Cuban League pitching during their winter campaigns, with each player recording averages of over .400 on two separate occasions. Records show Wilson batted .373 in six winters in Cuba, while Dihigo eclipsed the .300 mark on ten separate occasions during intermittent seasons in the 1920s and 1930s. Any and all photos of Dihigo and Wilson dating from their seasons of winter ball in Cuba are exceedingly rare, let alone one picturing them together. This is truly a remarkable photo in all respects and one that, while somewhat enigmatic, does offer new and invaluable information relating to one of the least-documented periods in Negro League baseball. Please Note: Robert Edward Auctions would like to thank both Ryan Christoff and Phil Garry for their invaluable assistance in researching this postcard and identifying the players listed here. The postcard (5.25 x 3 inches) displays numerous light creases throughout, as well as a few tiny edge tears. The notation "Havana Ball Club" is written on the reverse in pencil, as are the names and addresses of two women. The postcard has not been mailed. Technically in modest grade due to numerous minor condition flaws that do not detract from the integrity of the card or its remarkable significance. One of the prize postcard rarities (possibly unique) from the Ron Menchine Collection. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $9,988
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