1913 Original George Grantham Bain New York Giants News Photo with Jim Thorpe

Sold For: $411

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1250

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Original news photo, taken in 1913 by noted baseball photographer George Grantham Bain, picturing nine members of the New York Giants posing together at the Polo Grounds, including Jim Thorpe. All of the players are dressed in their resplendent home white uniforms and each is seen holding a bat over his shoulder. In addition to Thorpe, who was in his first season of professional ball in 1913, we are able to identify Chief Meyers, Fred Merkle, Fred Snodgrass, George Burns, Red Murray, Larry Doyle, and Buck Herzog. Bain commonly etched notations into his negatives that then appeared on his photos and this example is no exception. Both the team name and date of the photo "Giants 4/14/13" are clearly visible in white lettering at the top of the photo. Based upon that date, this photo was taken just prior to the start of the Giants' second game of the season against Brooklyn (the Giants lost the game 3-2). While we will never know for certain, this might be the earliest extant photo of Jim Thorpe as a New York Giant during the regular season. (We have seen another Bain New York Giants photo, taken on opening day in 1913, with eight players in a similar pose, but Thorpe was not included.) Thorpe, fresh from his remarkable performance at the 1912 Olympics where he won gold medals in both the decathlon and pentathlon, struggled during his Major League debut with the Giants in 1913, batting just .143 with 1 home run and 2 RBI in thirty-five at bats. Thorpe played sporadically for the Giants (including partial seasons with Cincinnati and Boston) over the next six years, with middling success, and he eventually retired in 1919 with a .252 lifetime average. The photo (6.75 x 4.25 inches) features Culver Pictures, Inc., stamps on the reverse, as well as the name "Thorp" written in pencil. There are a number of border chips, the largest of which are in the upper right and lower left corners, as well as a two-inch tear along the upper right border that has been repaired on the reverse with clear tape. Despite the flaws along the perimeter, the central image, which offers extraordinary clarity, is free of any significant defects and presents as Excellent to Mint. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+ . SOLD FOR $411

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