1903 E107 Breisch-Williams "Wee" Willie Keeler HOF

Sold For: $21,150

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 129

Item Year: 1903

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Graded GOOD 30 by SGC. Extremely rare E107 Breisch-Williams series card featuring Hall of Fame outfielder "Wee" Willie Keeler of the New York Highlanders (later to become the Yankees) of the American League. While all E107s are very rare, Keeler is both one of the most important cards and one of the rarest of the Hall of Famers in the set. This is an extremely striking attractive card, and though the technical SGC grade is modest, it may even be the very strongest of the few E107 Keeler graded examples. Only four examples have ever been graded by SGC (three GOOD and one "Authentic"), and only one example has ever been graded by PSA (POOR). Of the dozens of E107s we have had over the years, this is the very first E107 Keeler example we have ever offered. Keeler, whose career spanned the years 1892 through 1910, was one of the game’s greatest hitters. He was also one of the smallest men ever to play in the Major Leagues. Standing only 5' 4" and fleet afoot, he was well suited to the “dead ball” era style of play. Keeler used the smallest bat in Major League history (30 inches, 29 ounces) and he often choked up half way. That bat control allowed him to practice his famous hitting theory of “hit em where they aint.” If the infielders were playing deep he would bunt, if they moved in, he would peck the ball over their heads. Keeler led the league in hits on three separate occasions and won consecutive batting titles in 1897 (.424) and 1898 (.385). During his five years with Ned Hanlon’s legendary Baltimore Orioles (1894-1998), Keeler never once batted less than .371 nor failed to amass over 200 hits. Not surprisingly the Orioles won three pennants and two World Championships during that time. Despite a number of major rule changes made at the turn of the century that disadvantaged hitters, Keeler continued to post impressive numbers during the “modern era.” He finished his career in 1910 with a .341 lifetime average, a mark that ranks twelfth best all-time. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939. Issued in 1903, E107s have long been revered by collectors. This set represents the only major baseball-card set of the era, features many players that appear in no other sets, and includes the first cards ever issued of many important stars and Hall of Famers. Bright and clean, with just a little general wear typical of candy cards of the era, and with evenly rounded corners. The blank back is also perfectly clean. This is a very attractive example of this extremely important "Wee" Willie Keeler card with an overall appearance far superior than suggested by its technically accurate SGC grade. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $21,150

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