1876 Boston Base Ball Association Season Pass - National League Inaugural Season!

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Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1761

Item Year: 1876

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Exceedingly rare season pass issued by the Boston Base Ball Association for use during the National League's inaugural season in 1876. Encapsulated by SGC, with the pass certified as "Authentic." The pass, which bears the club's preprinted name along the top border ("Boston Base Ball Association") is numbered "112" and has been signed in black ink (grading "10") by team owner/president "N. T. Apollonio." This pass was never issued, as the line reserved for the recipient's name (as well as female companion) is blank. The full preprinted text on the front reads "Season Ticket/Admit ______________and Lady/To all Base Ball Matches played on the Boston Grounds during the season of 1876." The numbers "1" through "40," which denote the number of each home games, are printed around the perimeter of the pass (these numbers would be punched when entering the Grounds for the respective game). The team's embossed seal, which is identical to that seen on the club's stock certificates of the time, appears in the center of the pass. The preprinted text on the reverse reads "This ticket MUST be presented at All Games at Grand Stand Gate - FORFEITED IF TRANSFERRED." Nathan Taylor Apollonio was the third owner of the club, having purchased the team from Col. Charles H. Porter in 1875. He sold his interest in the company following the 1876 season. Any and all items dating from the first year of the National League are extremely rare and of special note. This is one of only three 1876 Boston Base Ball Association season passes we have ever seen and the first we have offered. Boston was a charter member of the National Association, baseball's first professional league, in 1871. Managed by Harry Wright, the former manager of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, the team featured a star-studded lineup that included George Wright, Ross Barnes, Cal McVey, and Albert Spalding. Not surprisingly, Boston dominated the league during its short five year existence, winning four consecutive pennants from 1872 through 1875. While many of those players were no longer with Boston in 1876, the club was still managed by Harry Wright and boasted a number of star players, including George Wright, Jim O'Rourke, "Honest John" Morrill, and Tim Murnane. Boston finished its inaugural National League season with a record of 39-31, fifteen games behind the champion Chicago White Stockings. The following season, with the additions of Deacon White and Tommy Bond, Boston once again regained the league Championship. The yellow cardboard pass (3.75 x 2.5 inches) displays only light corner wear and remains in Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $2,000 Estimate (open).

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