Circa 1870 Waterbury Mutuals Trophy Ball

Sold For: $1,680

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1751

Item Year: 1870

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Not much is known about this early circa 1870 black-painted trophy ball other than what can be inferred from the partial words printed upon it in faded red lettering. The legible letters of the top line read "Waterb," while the bottom letters read "Mutual." We do know that the town of Waterbury, Connecticut, produced one of the earliest organized clubs in the state, but whether this ball originates from that particular club's clubhouse is not known for certain. The ball itself, which is crafted from a single piece of leather, is commonly referred to as a "belt" or "belted" ball because the stitch design resembles an "H" at the point where the four seams connect. "A small metal clasp has been attached to the top of the ball so that it can be hung. The ball (9.5 inches in circumference; 5.4 ounces) displays moderate-to-heavy wear, including numerous minor abrasions throughout. In Good to Very Good condition. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).

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