1904 New York Giants Program (vs. Pittsburgh) with Mathewson on the Cover

Sold For: $1,293

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1222

Item Year: 1904

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Extremely rare and extraordinary 1904 New York Giants regular-season program featuring portrait images of manager John McGraw, pitcher Christy Mathewson, and catcher Frank Bowerman on the cover. Major League programs dating from the turn of the century are all rare, but few are as exceptional and ideal for display as this. This particular program was issued for a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the interior preprinted scorecard pages include Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Tommy Leach, and Deacon Phillippe (misspelled "Phillipi") for Pittsburgh, and Roger Bresnahan, Art Devlin, and Joe McGinnity for New York. The game has been neatly scored in pencil and records a 2-0 win by New York. Although the scorecard is not dated, research indicates that the only 2-0 home victory by the Giants over Pittsburgh in 1904 occurred on June 8th. Mathewson won thirty-three games in 1904, but it was "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity who was the pitching star for the club that season. This game marked one of McGinnity's league-leading nine shutouts, and he also went on to post a league-leading thirty-five wins that summer. The Giants won a franchise-record 106 games in 1904, finishing thirteen games in front of Chicago; however, despite a previous agreement between the two leagues, the Giants refused to meet the American League champion Boston Pilgrims in the World Series. In a statement issued by Giants owner John T. Brush, and supported by John McGraw, he disparages the American League by saying the Giants “are entitled to the honor of champions of the United States without being called upon to contend with or recognize clubs from minor leagues.” It was the only year since the start of the modern World Series in 1903, with the exception of the strike-torn season of 1994, that the fall classic was not played. The eight-page program (6 x 9.25 inches) displays a light vertical center fold and a few minor surface wrinkles to the cover, and is in Excellent condition overall. This is both an extremely rare (we've never seen another example) and extremely striking New York Giants program dating from the greatest season in franchise history. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $1,293

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