1914 Baltimore Terrapins Opening-Day Panorama - First Game in Federal League History - Only Known Example!

Sold For: $3,900

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1598

Item Year: 1914

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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This incredibly rare, and possibly unique, panoramic photograph captures the action from the first game in Federal League history, played between the Baltimore Terrapins and Buffalo Feds at Terrapin Park in Baltimore on April 13, 1914. Taken from the perspective of deep left field (right near the foul line), the photograph encompasses not only the entire field of play, but also the entire grandstand and many outlying buildings. The Terrapins are in the field and Buffalo has a man on second as the batter gets set in the box. The stands are packed to capacity, and an overflow crowd lines the stadium walls. Numerous fans can be seen hanging over the outfield fence, while others sit atop utility poles or on nearby rooftops. Credit for this remarkable photograph goes to "Hughes Co.," as noted in print along the base. Printed directly to the left of the photo credit is the white-letter caption "Opening Day - Federal League - April 13-1914/Score - Baltimore 3 - Buffalo 2 - Attendance 30,000."

While we have seen a few other Baltimore Federal League opening-day panoramas, all of which capture the action from high in the grandstand near home plate, the offered panorama is the ONLY example we have seen depicting this unique viewpoint. This is an extraordinary perspective and literally puts the viewer on the field that day, making it one of the most impressive panoramic baseball images we have ever seen. It also captures a historic moment in time. 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 making this photo not only an extraordinary artistic achievement, but an extremely significant historical piece as well. Probably by design, this game was the first Major League game of the season, thus ensuring that for at least one day the Federal League would hold center stage in the baseball world. Any and all materials relating to the short-lived Federal League are exceedingly rare, especially photographic images of this scale. This photo is simply spectacular on all levels.

The photograph (61 x 9.5 inches), which is linen-backed, displays a number of small chips and tears along the left border, as well as a few minor surface wrinkles, none of which detract in the least from its overall Excellent to Mint appearance. Please Note: because this photo is linen-backed and has been stored rolled for many years, it will be shipped in a tube. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open).

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