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1901 Cincinnati Reds Scorebook, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Chicago
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $592.50
This extraordinary turn-of-the-century baseball scorebook records eighteen games played by the Cincinnati Reds in 1901. Beginning with a July 19th game against the Philadelphia Phillies, and ending with an August 9th game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the book records every game for the Reds during that span with the exception of the July 21st game against the St. Louis Cardinals and the August 3rd game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The book also records the final two games of the season: a doubleheader against the Cardinals played on October 6th. The highlight is four games against the eventual National League Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, with Honus Wagner featured in the lineup for each game. All of the games are recorded within the pages of Morse’s Pocket Base Ball Score Book, which, as it notes on the cover, was “Especially compiled for the use of Base Ball Reporters and Official Scorers, by Jacob C. Morse of the Boston Herald.” Morse, in addition to being a respected sportswriter for The Boston Herald, was the author of Sphere and Ash, one of the earliest histories of our national pastime, published in 1888. This is a substantial, top-of-the-line scorebook from the era, featuring hard covers and a cloth spine. That, plus the fact that it was created specifically for professional use by scorers and reporters, leads us to believe that this book originates either from a Cincinnati sportswriter or the Cincinnati Reds. Regardless of its precise history, it is the information it contains that makes it so significant. These pages bear witness to games long since past for which there are currently no other records. Yes, we have scores for these games and yearly season totals for the players, but turn-of-the-century box scores are hard to come by, with most only accessible through library archives of old newspaper articles. And even then, they are only numbers, failing to provide a complete account of every at bat. This book provides a rare window back in time in which the games now unfold before us, inning by inning, in the universal language originally formulated by Henry Chadwick decades earlier. We can see where players batted in the lineup; we can see the lineups change from game to game in response to the opposing pitcher; and, most important we can see the results of each at bat. That is important, because this book features twelve future Hall of Fame players within the lineups: Beckley, Crawford, Jennings, Delahanty, Flick, Clarke, Wagner, Chesbro, Chance, Waddell, Wallace, and Burkett. Recorded here are numerous hits by Wagner, Beckley, and Crawford, as well as victories by both Jack Chesbro and Rube Waddell. Jake Beckley appears in each game for the Reds, while Sam Crawford is listed in fourteen of the games. The teams featured in this book, with the number of games for each recorded in parentheses, are as follows: Philadelphia (2); Pittsburgh (4); Chicago (8); and St. Louis (4). The book (5.25 x 7 inches) displays heavy wear commensurate with the book’s age and former use, including the year “1901” written in pencil on the front. All of the interior pages have separated from the covers; however, a few remain bound together. With out regard to the separation from the covers, most of the pages remain in Excellent condition overall, with just a few displaying minor edge tears and/or chips. This is a remarkable surviving turn-of-the-century baseball relic, and one that will keep most historians happily busy for hours as they absorb all of the information contained within its pages. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $592.50
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