1914 Buffalo Federal League Pennant

Sold For: $21,150

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1241

Item Year: 1914

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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This rare Federal League pennant, issued in 1914 and celebrating Buffalo’s entry in the short-lived “outlaw” league, is one of only several known Federal League pennants and the only Buffalo example we have ever seen. The attractive design, executed upon dark-green felt, features both the team name and a colorful baseball illustration. “Buffalo Federals” appears along the white picket fence on the right side, while the left portion of the pennant pictures a Buffalo Federal League player shaking hands with a fan. The white-painted caption “The Green Extra – Glad To Meet You,” is lettered directly below the two men. “Buffalo Enquirer” and “Season 1914” are printed in white along the left border. Any and all items relating to the Federal League are exceedingly rare. The Federal League was formed in 1914 as a Major League rival to the American and National Leagues. Despite its success in signing many of the game's top stars, the League only lasted two seasons, thus contributing to the great rarity of Federal League items today. This is one of only five different Federal League pennant designs we have ever seen (two designs for Chicago, one for Baltimore, one for St. Louis, and this example). Interestingly, the same central illustration (picket fence/ballplayer/fan) displayed on this piece was also used on one of the Chicago Federal League pennants, thus suggesting it may have been featured on pennants for each of the eight teams in the League in 1914. The pennant (22.75 inches in length) displays tack holes along the left border and tail, as well as a number of small holes (most are approximately .25 inches in diameter or smaller) scattered throughout, a few of which affect the central image. The painted illustration exhibits minor crazing and a few chips. Although technically in Good condition, the colors remain bright and vibrant, and the piece displays exceptionally well, as intended. This is a remarkable display piece dating from the Federal League’s inaugural season and one that would be a welcome addition to any advanced collection. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $21,150

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