1911 Philadelphia Athletics World Series Press Pin - First World Series Press Pin Ever Issued!
Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $53,325.00
Extremely rare Philadelphia Athletics press pin issued for the 1911 World Series against the New York Giants. This is the first World Series press pin ever issued! We believe that fewer than a dozen examples of this iconic press pin rarity exist. In addition to being of great historical significance, and the key to assembling a complete press-pin run, the offered example also has an extraordinarily impressive provenance rarely seen with press pins. This pin, along with a number of other early Philadelphia Athletics World Series press pins and presentation pieces featured in this auction (including a 1914 Philadelphia Athletics World Series press pin) has been consigned directly from the family of Joseph McCready. McCready was one of the most highly respected sportswriters in the country at the time, and from 1917 through 1924 (the time of his death), he served as secretary for the Base Ball Writers Association of America. He was also a close friend of A's manager Connie Mack.
The brooch portion of the pin features the word "Press" lettered in gold upon a blue enamel surface. Hanging from the brooch is a blue ribbon, with silver lettering, that reads "World Series/Shibe Park/Philadelphia/1911." Attached at the base of the ribbon is an exquisitely designed circular medallion with scalloped edges. The blue-enamel border is lettered "American Base Ball Club of America." The center of the medallion displays a raised-relief design consisting of a crossed bats-and-ball motif upon which sits an elephant. The word "Athletics" appears along the base.
The formation of the Base Ball Writers Association (BBWAA) and the history of the World Series press pin are interconnected. The BBWAA was founded in 1908 after New York sportswriters became frustrated at constantly losing their seats in the press box at the Polo Grounds. Giants manager John McGraw had a habit of accommodating his many friends by sneaking them into the ballpark and offering them seats in the press box. As the situation became worse, the writers banded together, formed an association, and began the practice of issuing press pins to its members. The press pins were then required for entry into the press box. The system worked, but it wasn't until 1911 that the A's began the tradition of issuing specially made press pins just for the World Series. The following year the Giants followed suit and since that time, World Series press pins have been issued every year by each participating club.
1911 World Series press pins are exceedingly rare. It has been over twelve years since we last handled one, and we cannot recall having seen more than one or two at public auction since that time. Its rarity not withstanding, this is also one of the most decorative World Series pins ever issued and one of only six to incorporate a brooch/ribbon/medallion design. The offered pin displays light wear commensurate with its age and former use. A small half-inch horizontal tear affects the ribbon's left border, and some of its silver lettering has worn away. The enamel portions of the brooch and medallion remain intact and the pin is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall. The opportunities to acquire a 1911 World Series press pin are few and far between. The fact that the offered pin is new to the hobby, and originates directly from the personal collection of a leading sportswriter from the era, only adds to its appeal. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $53,325.00