CDV featuring a team photo of the Utica Baseball Club, members of the International Association, circa 1878. This is a remarkable rarity. Many of the players on this team played in the major leagues, and nineteenth-century card collectors will note that many also appeared in the N172 Old Judge set. This is one of only two known examples of this card that we know to exist. The other example appears as plate 76 in Mark Rucker's groundbreaking work Baseball Cartes - The First Baseball Cards
(self-published, Saratoga Springs, New York, 1988). The photographer's credit ("L. C. Mundy - Utica, N.Y.") appears on the reverse, on an as- issued affixed sheet with advertising, as does a listing of each of the players pictured: Eddie Kennedy, Blondy Purcell, Bob Clock, Joe Roche, Charlie Smith, John Richmond, William Gifford, Juice Latham, Hardie Richardson, and Nick Alcott. Interestingly, one of the most prominent members of this club, Doc Bushing, is not pictured here. In his book, Rucker notes the high quality of baseball played in the International Association:
"The International Association in the late 1870s was an aggregate of mid-sized city baseball organizations. Each of these had an avid following, though none could muster National League numbers at the turnstiles. Contrary to traditional belief, the IA was not a minor league, for most of its teams would have been competitive with any club in the country. Most members suited up in the N. L. at one time or another." The CDV (4 x 2.5 inches) has been encapsulated and graded POOR 10 by SGC. Flaws include creasing, border tears, and surface paper loss on the reverse, but the overall appearance is very impressive and the central image area presents at a higher level than its technically accurate grade suggests. Reserve $300. Estimate $1,000+.
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