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1908 Reading Team Cabinet Photo with Home Run Baker
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,659.00
Original team cabinet photo of the Reading Pretzels, a Class B minor-league club of the Tri-State League. Fourteen team members are pictured posing together in front of the grandstand, the most important of whom is future Hall of Fame third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker (standing, fourth from the right). Although no year is listed on the photo, it can be conclusively dated to 1908 because that is the only season in which Baker played with Reading. While it is known that Baker received his famous nickname of "Home Run" Baker following the 1911 World Series, he could easily have earned it with Reading. Baker hit .299 for the club that season with a team-high six home runs. That number becomes all the more impressive when one learns that the rest of the Reading team only combined to hit thirteen home runs. Baker's prowess at the plate certainly impressed A's manager Connie Mack, who purchased Baker's contract in September and had him finish the season with the Athletics. Baker's short nine-game audition went well enough that Mack handed him the starting third baseman job the following year. This is almost certainly the earliest photo of Baker in uniform extant, as his only other season of professional ball consisted of just five games in 1907 with Baltimore in the Eastern League. The photo (6.5 x 5 inches) displays a minor diagonal scratch in the upper right corner (that also affects the mount) and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. The cardboard mount (9 x 7 inches) displays moderate corner wear and is in Very Good condition. Encapsulated and labeled "Authentic" by SGC. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,659.00
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