1914 Baltimore Terrapins (Federal League) Real-Photo Team Postcard - Possibly Earliest Team Photo

Sold For: $1,080

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1599

Item Year: 1914

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Rare real-photo postcard capturing eighteen members of the Baltimore Terrapins, one of the inaugural members of the newly formed Federal League, posing together during spring training in 1914. The team identification ("Baltimore Feds") and photographer's credit ("By Eddy So. Pines N. C.") appear in white lettering along the base. This is an amazing photo in that it is probably the earliest known image of the Baltimore Terrapins, taken at least a month before the club's first regular-season game on April 13, 1914. As one can plainly see here, all of the players are wearing the uniforms of their former National or American League clubs during spring training, as they had yet to receive their regular-season outfits. While we cannot be certain of the identify of every player pictured here, we are fairly confident in our identifications of Benny Meyer (seated, far left, middle row), Otto Knabe (seated on ground, far right, first row), and Hack Simmons (seated on ground, second from left, first row). As noted by the vintage text on the reverse, the team was impressing the local fans. In part: "This is the team that plays here winters some fine players believe me. I have seen some fine games this winter." The postcard is postmarked "Mar 11 Southern Pines N. C." (year faded beyond legibility). Research indicates that the Baltimore Terrapins trained in Southern Pines, North Carolina, during each of its two seasons. (The Federal League was only in existence for two seasons, 1914 and 1915.) The postcard (5.5 x 3.5 inches) displays minor handling wear, including a minuscule edge tear and a tiny crease in the upper right corner. It has been addressed on the reverse and mailed. In Excellent condition overall, with the photo displaying exceptional clarity. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+.

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