Fall, 2017 Ringside and Premier Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/26/2017

Presented here is not only one of the most rare and desirable Negro League postcards, it is one of the most important baseball team postcards in existence.  With just one other example known to the hobby, this particular postcard originates directly from the estate of Hall of Fame pitcher and eventual team owner Rube Foster, having once been owned by the man known as the Father of Negro League Baseball himself.

Foster began his career with an independent black team in Waco, Texas, and was signed by Giants owner and manager Frank Leland in 1902.  His nickname "Rube" was coined after defeating star pitcher Rube Waddell in a 1903 postseason exhibition game.  He contributed an article on "How to Pitch" to the legendary Sol White book Official Baseball Guide: History of Colored Baseball, and by 1920 had become president of the new Negro National League while still owning the league's American Giants team.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981, the first Negro Leaguer enshrined in the "Pioneer/Executive" category, though his pitching prowess may have also justified his induction.

Initially formed via the merger of the Chicago Unions and Columbia Giants in 1901, the Chicago Union Giants were an independent Negro League team that eventually assumed the name of its manager and owner, Frank Leland.  By 1908 the team had become extremely competitive, posting a 64-21 record against semipro teams and matching favorably in an exhibition series against the Chicago Cubs. By 1909, pitcher Rube Foster had taken over as team manager, and by 1910 Leland had parted, with Foster awarded rights to the team name.

The postcard, which dates to 1909 (despite the dating on the label) depicts the Hall of Famer early in his career, at the height of his pitching prowess.  The team also featured future Hall of Famer Pete Hill, the team's greatest hitter, known as having the batting prowess of Cobb and the power of Ruth.  Hill's unmistakeable image appears in the top row, left, while Foster appears at the top right.  Between them are "Jap" Payne, George Wright, Walter Ball, Charles "Pat" Daughterty, and Bill Gatewood.  The front row, from left to right, are Dangerfield Talbert, Harry Moore, Frank Leland, Bobby Winston, Sam Strothers and Nate Harris.

The card itself has been assessed by SGC, the Rube Foster provenance noted on the grading label.  Age and wear-related condition issues are quite apparent, primarily in the form of wrinkling, moisture damage, and cracking to to the photographic emulsion.  THe quality of the image, however, is wonderfully sharp.

The postcard is extraordinarily rare, with just two examples known to exist - one, a well-worn, postally-used example, sold at auction for $22,000.  The second, this example, eclipsed $15,000 in a more recent auction.  This example traces directly to the estate of Rube Foster, and is noted by SGC on the grading label.

One of just two examples of this postcard known to exist, this image is being used by noted baseball artist Graig Kriendler for an upcoming exhibit that will open at the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City.  An outstanding opportunity to obtain one of the only known examples of an incredibly rare piece, a document from the start of one of the most important baseball careers in history - that of Rube Foster.

Rare 1909 Chicago Leland Giants RPPC w/Rube Foster and Pete Hill (HOF) - From Rube Foster Estate!Rare 1909 Chicago Leland Giants RPPC w/Rube Foster and Pete Hill (HOF) - From Rube Foster Estate!
Rare 1909 Chicago Leland Giants RPPC w/Rube Foster and Pete Hill (HOF) - From Rube Foster Estate!
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $10,800
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Sunday, November 26, 2017.
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