Auction Item Details

Lot 371



Lot Number: 371

Description: Scarce 1898 Philadelphia BBC team autographed Baker Bowl inaugural game invitation. Incredible autographed document signed by members of the 1898 Philadelphia club. Offered is an original May 2, 1895 invitation to the inaugural game played at Philadelphia's newly opened Baker Bowl. The stadium was the first cantilever design park to be built eliminating the usage of the concrete columns many of which obstructed fans viewpoints. On the reverse of the invitation which, apparently, Ed Delahanty found laying around is the following hand written letter, "Phila. Pa Oct.,13-98--J.F. Hillerich & Son--Gentleman, We the undersigned members of the Phila. Ball Club have use your bats for a great many season and want no others". Underneath are the signatures of (13) team members incl. E.J. Delahanty, M.Cross, Nap Lajoie, E. Flick, and Wm. Douglass. The paper does have a few period tape repairs to the front and one piece on the back which does intersect with the final letter in Delahanty's last name. Although the paper exhibits some age wear including the aforementioned tape repairs the signatures remain notably clean ranging from 7-9 out of 10. Although the significance of this piece includes the rarity of the invitation itself and several notable 19th century signatures such as Nap Lajoie it cannot be understated as to the rarity of the Ed Delahanty autograph. Delahanty was one of the finest batsman of the 19th century and was the only player in Major League history to lead the American and National league in batting average. On July 2, 1903 Delahanty elected to leave the Washington American League team in order to join the New York Giants of the National League. He left the team in Detroit and took a train eastward towards New York. Apparently Delahanty was removed from the train for rude behavior and possibly intoxication and while crossing a bridge over the Niagara river he plunged to his death. For years there was speculation as to whether it was an accident, suicide, or foul play. For all of these reasons, and more obviously the fact that Delahanty died a sudden and early death, his autograph is considered by many advanced collectors to be the most elusive of all HOF inductees. Stunning piece of the highest rarity and unimpeachable provenance. Includes LOA from PSA/DNA J.Spence-S.Grad and letter of provenance from the Hillerich & Bradsby Co: Invitation: GD, Signatures: Range VG-NM

Estimated Price: ($5,000.00-$7,500.00)

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