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1911 Philadelphia Athletics Gold and Diamond Presentation Pendant
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $21,330.00
Rare and extraordinary medallion presented to Philadelphia sportswriter Joseph McCready by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1911. This ornate piece, with scalloped edges, was produced from the same die used to create the Philadelphia Athletics 1911 World Series press pin. It is naturally similar in design to a 1911 World Series Press Pin, but is produced in 14K gold and is designed with a diamond in the center. The medallion features a high-relief illustration of an elephant (the team's logo) perched atop a ball and crossed-bats design, below which is the team name, "Athletics." A blue-enamel band encircles that design and reads "American Base Ball Club of Philadelphia" in gold letters. A single diamond has been mounted within the baseball. The engraving on the reverse reads "To Joseph M. McCready from The American Base Ball Club of Philadelphia 'The Athletics' 1911." Also engraved on the reverse are "14K" and the name of the manufacturer, "Allen A. Kerr/1004 Chestnut St./Phila." The medallion hangs from a small six-inch gold-colored chain. The only other example of this particular medallion we have ever seen resided in the famed Barry Halper Collection. That medallion, which was identical in design, was presented to pitcher "Smokey Joe" Wood in commemoration of his participation in a 1911 postseason barnstorming tour involving the World Champion Athletics and a team of Major League "All Stars." (The Wood medallion sold for $11,500 in the 1999 Halper Sale.) The Philadelphia players each received a pendant from the team in commemoration of the club's World Championship that season. However, the championship pendant presented to players was distinctly different in design from that of the offered presentation medallion, which is much scarcer (though both styles are extraordinary rarities).
Joseph McCready was one of the most highly respected sportswriters in the country at the time and from 1917 through 1924 (the year of his passing) he served as secretary for the Base Ball Writers Association of America. In addition to his lofty status within the fourth estate, McCready also held an even more prominent position with regard to the Athletics: he was one of Connie Mack's intimate friends. We do not know exactly how many of these special presentation medallions were issued by the Athletics following the club's 1911 World Championship, but given their rarity (as well as the considerable expense due to the cost of gold and diamonds), the production number was obviously extremely low. This piece also has a special provenance. It has been consigned to this auction (along with a number of other early A's World Series press pins and presentation pieces) directly from the McCready family and has never before been offered for sale, either publicly or privately. The medallion (1.25 inches in diameter) displays only modest handling wear and is in outstanding Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $21,330.00
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