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Nineteenth-Century Baseball Cabinet Photo Collection (6)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,645
Addendum: It has been confirmed that the Los Angeles player Westervelt Studios cabinet card in this lot pictures major leaguer James Joseph “General” Stafford (who played for numerous major league teams throughout the 1890s), and who, as noted by pencil notations on reverse, did in fact play ball for Worcester circa 1889. (REA thanks Mark Fimoff for this confirmation!)
Collection of six high-quality baseball cabinet photos dating from the 1800s. Like most nineteenth-century baseball photos, most of the subjects portrayed in this collection remain largely anonymous. With the exception of two Major League players (one well known, the other more obscure) the only hints we have to their identities are conveyed by the vintage writing on the reverse and the photographer's credits. Despite the lack of information, each cabinet provides both an attractive and informative glimpse back in time to the earliest days of organized baseball. 1) Cabinet photo of Tommy "Foghorn" Tucker produced by Walzl's Imperial Portrait Studios of Baltimore, Maryland. This image was used by Goodwin & Co. in 1888 on one of its five N172 tobacco cards of Tucker and the company's copyright notice appears in the center of the photo, just to the left of Tucker's image. The studio photo captures Tucker in full uniform as a member of the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association as he strikes a fielding pose ("catch, stooping, hands ankle high"). The handwritten identification, "Tom Tucker" appears in pencil on the reverse of the mount. The photographer's credit is printed on the base of the mount. Tucker was a slick fielding first baseman and the first switch hitter to capture a batting title, a feat he accomplished in 1889 as a member of the American Association Orioles. His .372 average that year is still the single-season Major League record for a switch hitter. Tucker finished his thirteen-year career (1887-1899) with a .290 lifetime average. Today, he remains the only nineteenth-century first baseman to appear in 1,500 or more games who has not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The photo, which offers fine clarity, displays moderate surface wear and a tiny edge chip. The mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches) has normal light edge and corner wear. Vg-Ex. 2) Circa late 1890s formal studio cabinet photo of a uniformed player. The jersey features a single "W" on the chest and the photographer's credit ("Rice/1217-1219 & 1225 Penna. Ave./Washington. D.C.") is embossed at the base of the mount. The name "Hasamaer, Wm L." and the editorial notations "2 Cols/W&B" appear in pencil on the reverse. If that identification is correct then this photo pictures William "Roaring Bill" Hassamaer, who played with the Washington Senators in 1894 and 1895. Hassamaer made his Major League debut in fine fashion in 1894, finishing the year with 4 home runs, 90 RBI, and a .322 batting average. Unfortunately, he never again batted over .300 and he only lasted three seasons. The photo displays a light line running down the right border and the mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches) has a strip of paper residue along the top border on the reverse; otherwise Ex-Mt. 3) Circa early 1880s team photo. Nineteen uniformed players are pictured posing in a field. Two of the players can be seen wearing "bib-style" jerseys bearing a "W" on the chest. The photographer's credit, "S. A. Johnson/Prentice, Wis." is gilt stamped on the scalloped mount. The photo is in Excellent to Mint condition, while the mount (6.5 x 4.25 inches) displays light staining on the reverse; otherwise Ex-Mt. 4) Circa 1880s cabinet of a pitcher and batter posed together in a formal studio setting. The uniform style of the two players is identical with the exception of the shirt (one is white, with a tie; the other is a solid color matching the pants). The photographer's credit ("Cheney S. Lawson/201 Washington Ave. South, Lansing, Mich.") is printed along the base. The photo has two tiny pin-sized holes (not piercing the mount) and minor surface wear. The mount (6.5 x 4.25 inches) is lightly toned with minor corner and edge wear. Vg-Ex. 5) Circa 1880s formal studio cabinet photo of a uniformed player. The jersey is lettered "Herald" and the photographer's credit ("Ryder/Syracuse, N.Y.") is printed in gilt lettering at the base of the mount. Vintage fountain-pen notations on the reverse read "July 18/91 May 30/88 Capt & Mgr Herald News Boys/Champion 88/32 Won - 1 Lost/Presented to Peter Thompson/From Frank Burden 1st Baseman/'210' 108 Oakwood Ave Syracuse NY." The cabinet card (4.25 x 6.5 inches) has minor adhesive residue along the right border on the reverse; otherwise Ex-Mt. 6) Circa late 1880s formal studio cabinet photo of a uniformed player. The jersey is lettered "Los Angeles" and the photographer's credit ("Westervelt/124 Main St., Los Angeles, Cal.") appears in gilt lettering at the base of the mount. The pencil notations "Jimmie Stafford/pitched in 1889 in Worcestor" and "Pop Dillon Mgr." appear on the reverse. Both the photo and mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches) display light surface wear. Vg-Ex. Total: 6 cabinet cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,645
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