1892 Los Angeles Seraphs (California League) Imperial Cabinet Card - First Professional Baseball Team in Los Angeles

Sold For: $0

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 94

Item Year: 1892

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Cards (1830-1899)

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Rare and likely unique imperial cabinet card featuring composite images of 14 members of the 1892 Los Angeles Seraphs, members of the California League. The Seraphs were the first professional baseball team to call Los Angeles home, and 1892 marked the club's inaugural season. The Seraphs replaced Sacremento in the four-team California League, which was first organized in 1887. This cabinet card, which was distributed as a promotional piece for "Siegel the Hatter" of Los Angeles, pictures all of the team members in uniform, with the exception of the team president ("G. A. Vanderbeck") and secrectary (W. F. Kennedy"). The players featured here, all of whom are identified in print below their respective images, are R. J. Glenalvin (Capt.), John F. Roach, Louis Balsz, J. A. Stafford, E. J. McNabb, C. G. Baldwin, Wm. Strong, E. H. Lytele, W. S. Wright, Geo. Treadway, Allen McCauley, and W. F. Hulen. The photographer's credit, "Westerville" appears in the upper-left corner of the composite photo, and again at the base of the mount. The center text reads "Los Angeles Ball Club 1892 Compliments of Siegel the Hatter." While the final standings for the 1892 California League are not known, the Seraphs most likely fielded a strong club, as all of the players pictured here spent time at the major league level, with the exception of Balsz and Strong. Card collectors are probably most familiar with the names of "Kid" Baldwin, Roach, and McCauley, because all three were featured in the N172 Old Judge tobacco-card set. This is the only example we have ever seen of this imperial cabinet card, making it both a rare and historically significant piece commemorating the birth of professional baseball in Los Angeles. The cabinet (7 x 10 inches) displays light foxing and is otherwise in Excellent condition overall. Opening Bid $10,000. Estimate (open).

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