Circa 1909 Addie Joss Photo

Sold For: $4,700

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1399

Item Year: 1909

Category: The Golden Age of Baseball Photography

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Vintage original press photo, culled from The Detroit News archives, capturing Hall of Famer pitcher Addie Joss in extreme close-up as a member of the Cleveland Naps. Reverse markings consist of two date stamps ("Apr 20 1909" and "May 4 1938") and various period editorial notations. Addie Joss, who passed away tragically in 1911 at the age of thirty-one from tubercular meningitis, was one of the greatest pitchers of his era. Because of his untimely death, vintage Addie Joss press photos in general are rare and seldom offered at public sale. This example is one of only a few we have ever seen. Joss was not only an exceptional pitcher, but one of the game's most well-liked and respected players. Cleveland's home opener in April 1911 was canceled so players could attend his funeral and later that year a special memorial all-star game was held by the players to raise money for his family. On the mound, Joss had few equals. He twice led the American League in ERA and his lifetime ERA of 1.89 is second only to Ed Walsh. In his nine seasons, all of which were spent with the Cleveland, he won twenty or more games four times, including a career-high 27 wins in 1907. A perfect game and no-hitter are also among his impressive list of achievements. Because Joss only played nine seasons, one fewer than required for Hall of Fame eligibility, his election to the Hall was delayed until 1978, when the Veteran's Committee finally decided to overlook the rule and let him take his rightful place alongside the game's other immortals. The photo (8 x 10 inches) has a number of very minor flaws common to nearly all working press photos, including a few light creases and editorial marks on the front. Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+++. SOLD FOR $4,700

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