March 28, 2011
This extraordinarily rare 16-page program, published in 1909 by the Leland Giants Base Ball and Amusement Association, is notable for the photo of team manager Andrew "Rube" Foster on the cover. Although technically not a baseball program (there is no scorecard), the small booklet includes the Leland Giants' record for 1909 on the interior front cover, while the facing page features a team photo of the club (all dressed in formal attire), including Hall of Famers Rube Foster and Pete Hill, for whom very few contemporary images exist. Another page provides a history of the Leland Giants, beginning with the club's formation in 1907. The remainder of the pages, four of which are duplicated in the program, consist of various advertisements, including a number of businesses owned and operated by the Leland Giants. All Negro League items from this era, especially those issued by and relating to significant clubs and players, such as this, are exceedingly rare. This program is no exception and represents the only example we have ever seen. The program (5.5 x 7 inches) displays a hole punch (as issued) in the upper-left corner for string binding. A number of stains are evident and the covers were at one time detached but have since been repaired on the interior with clear tape (the interior pages are bound with a single staple). Minor edge tears affect the covers and most of the interior pages. In Good condition overall.