Original imperial cabinet photo capturing the eleven members of the 1887 Yale football team, including captain Harry Beecher (middle of the front row, holding the football). As most card collectors are aware, Harry Beecher is featured on the first-ever American football card, which was issued in the 1888 N162 Goodwin Champions series. The Yale team pictured here went undefeated in 1887, fashioning a record of 9-0. Although no National Champion was named at that time, a number of organizations, including the Helms Athletic Foundation, the Billingsley Report, and the National Championship Foundation, have retroactively named Yale as the 1887 collegiate champions. Research indicates that the players pictured here are as follows: Back Row (L to R): Pratt, Cross, Woodruff, Corbin, Carter, Gill, Wallace, and Bull. Front Row (L to R): Wurtenberg, Beecher, and Graves. This is the first imperial cabinet photo of this famous club that we have ever seen, making it both a rare and significant piece dating from the earliest days of Yale's storied football history. The photo (13.5 x 9.75 inches) remains in Near Mint condition, with exceptional clarity and contrast. The cardboard mount (14 x 10.5 inches) displays light edge and corner wear, as well as the number "316" written in pencil in the upper right corner. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).
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