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Circa 1911 Chicago American Giants Real-Photo Postcard with Rube Foster and Pete Hill
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $7,702.50
Extremely rare and significant real-photo postcard capturing eleven members of Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants in a traditional team pose. Foster, who was player/manager of the club, is pictured standing in the back row (third from the left). The two other players that we can positively identify are Hall of Fame outfielder Pete Hill (middle row, first on the left) and catcher Bruce Petway (standing, second from the left). The dating of this photo is predicated on the vintage ink notation in the lower left corner that reads "1911." An additional notation, which is badly faded, but appears to read "Black Cubs," is also evident in the lower left. If the dating on this photo is correct, then it pictures the Chicago American Giants during their inaugural season. Foster, who was the top pitcher in the Negro Leagues during the early 1900s, had been player/manager of the Chicago Leland Giants from 1907 through 1910. Just prior to the 1911 season he entered into a partnership with Chicago tavern owner John C. Schorling, who was also the son-in-law of Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, and the two formed a new team called the Chicago American Giants. With a roster that was half filled by members of his old club, the Leland Giants, Foster proceeded to build one of the greatest teams in Negro League history and one that would win League championships in both 1914 and 1917. Any and all Negro League photos dating to this time period are exceedingly rare, let alone a team photo of the 1911 Chicago American Giants. This is not only the first example of this postcard we have ever seen, but the first example we have found of this team photo (in any form) as well. The postcard (5.25 x 3.5 inches) appears to be very slightly trimmed along the left border, along the length of which are a few tiny edge tears. A tack hole is evident in the center of the card. The reverse is not addressed, but displays both surface paper residue and loss, as well as adhesive residue, from having once been mounted in an album. In Good to Very Good condition overall. Despite the flaws, the photo displays outstanding clarity and is much closer to Excellent in its overall appearance. Graded and encapsulated "Authentic" by SGC. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $7,702.50
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