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1920 Agathons vs. Cuban Stars Panoramic Photograph
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $533.25
Panoramic photo, dated May 23, 1920, capturing the members of the Cuban Stars and the Agathons as they pose seated on the ground in front of their respective dugouts. The white-letter caption along the base reads "Agathons - Semi Pro Champions - Ohio & Penn. - vs. - Cuban Stars - Champions of Cuba/Massillon, Ohio./May 23-1920." The notations "Score 3-3" and "Score 1-1" appear, respectively, below the Agathons and Stars team names. There were two teams named the "Cuban Stars" in 1920, but because of their differing geographical locations, they were referred to as the Cuban Stars East and the Cuban Stars West. The Cuban Stars East was a New York-based team that played primarily in the northeast, whereas the Cuban Stars West normally operated in the Midwest. Since this photo was taken in Massillon, Ohio, it's safe to assume that it captures the members of the Cuban Stars West. While we cannot identify any of the players pictured here, according to The Negro Leagues Book (SABR, 1994), the following players were on the Cuban Stars West roster in 1920: Eufemio Abreu, Bernardo Baro, Valentin Dreke, Juan Guerra, Jose Hernandez, Ramon Herrera, Bienvenido Jimenez, Julio LeBlanc, Cando Lopez, Pasquel Martinez, Eustaquio Pedroso, Herman Rios, and Pablo Valdez. This photo is historically significant as it captures the Stars during its inaugural season in the newly formed Negro National League. The Stars finished sixth in the eight-team league in 1920, which was dominated by Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants during its first few years. Early Negro League photos are scarce, especially those of this size. This is only the second example of this panorama we have ever seen, with the offered example easily the finer of the two with regard to condition. The photo (37.5 x 7.25 inches) displays a number of light creases throughout, many of which are only visible at certain angles, and is free of any toning. Although technically in Very Good condition, most of the flaws are only evident upon close inspection and the piece presents as Excellent. Framed to total dimensions of 39.5 x 9 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $533.25
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