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Circa 1888 Haverly Team Cabinet Card (California League)
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $3,555.00
Addendum regarding photo IDs: Our thanks to baseball historian and facial recognition expert Mark Fimoff who has identified nine of the eleven players pictured here (left to right). Standing - Back Row: George Hanley – Eddie Bennett - Pete Sweeney* – (unknown) – Fred Stein – Horatio Lawton. Seated - Middle Row: Lew Hardie* – Henry Harris (mgr) – William Incell. Lying- Front Row: Jack Donahue (likely) – unknown.
Rare cabinet card, circa 1888, picturing eleven members of the San Francisco Haverlys, a California League team. The photograph captures the club in a formal studio setting, with ten of the players dressed in full uniform bearing the team name "Haverlys" across the chest. The gentleman seated in the center, dressed in formal attire, is presumably the manager or team owner. Adding to the appeal of this photo is the fact that six period bats are visible in the photo, as is a baseball held by one of the seated players. The photographer's credit appears in print on the reverse: "W. I. Williams & Co./Photographers/914 Market Street/In Baldwin Hotel Block/San Francisco, Cal." Also on the reverse, written in pencil along the top border, are the names "Geo Hanley" and "McGann." The first of those names, "Hanley," might offer a clue with regard to dating. The Haverlys were a member of the California League from 1883 through 1892. George Hanley was a member of the Haverlys between the years 1884 and 1890. Unfortunately, photographic records are not available for us to determine which, if any of these players, is George Hanley, but we can only assume that his name on the reverse indicates his presence in the photo. Curiously, we were unable to find a player by the name of "McGann" on the Haverlys during the time Hanley was on the club, nor were we able to find any player named McGann active during the 1883-1890 period. However, it should be noted that the records for that period are incomplete, and we could not find an official Haverly team roster for the years 1886 or 1887. What little information we could find on the photographer seems to indicate that the company was at a different address during the mid 1890s, but we do not know what year the W. I. Williams & Co. was founded. California League team cabinets from the 1880s are extremely rare and this example is no exception. This cabinet was just recently discovered in California and we have never seen or heard of another Haverly team cabinet photo from this time period. It is both an extremely desirable nineteenth-century baseball cabinet and a historically significant photograph documenting the rich tradition of early professional baseball in California. The photo (6.25 x 4.25 inches), which offers exceptional clarity, displays a few light surface scratches, most of which can only be seen at certain angles. The mount (8.25 x 5.25 inches) displays light foxing and moderate handling wear. Technically in Very Good condition, but closer to Excellent in overall appearance. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $3,555.00
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