Spring, 2019 Premier Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/14/2019

Spectacular silver trophy baseball, measuring 9 3/4" in circumference.  A tremendous presentation, the ball is slightly larger than a conventional baseball, with ornate design flourishes and "stitches" embedded into the ball.  Elegantly engragved into the ball is the following:

Presented
to the
CRESENT BASE BALL CLUB
of Mt. Kisco
New York
BY JOSEPH STRANG
Pres. of the Association
July 24th 1880

The ball has developed a gorgeous patina, the etching still quite visible throughout.  Signs of a small professional repair are evident (though not at all distracting), and two very slight dents are evident on the reverse, out of sight of the etchings on the ball.

Pieces like this will drive us mad, as we attempt to find information on a Cresent Base Ball Club operating out of Mt. Kisco in 1880.  A small historic town in Westchester County, the town dates back to the 1850s, though adopted its current spelling in just 1875.  While we found no information about a Cresent base ball club in Mt. Kisco, we found quite a few mentions of a Crescent base ball club, and feel it is likely that the team name was misspelled on the ball.  A Crescent base ball club operated out of various towns in Westchester County during the 1880s and 1890s, issuing challenges to other amateur teams and hosting fundraising dances and picnics in the Mt. Kisco area.

Joseph Strang was the owner of Strang's Hotel, which was built in 1856.  Census data describes Strang as a hotelier, and though no information can be found about Strang's association with baseball, we did learn the unfortunate news that just a few weeks after presenting this baseball to the Crescent ballclub, Strang passed away suddenly of apoplexy, and was given burial with Masonic honors.  Equally unfortunate, Strang's sister became ill at the funeral, and died the following week.

Trophy baseballs appear in a variety of forms and levels of quality, that this ball is a silver one, ornately engraved and well-constructed, leads us to believe that the association in which the Crescent ball club competed was one of some means.  While trophy balls from later years are frequently offered at auction, examples dating as early as 1880 are rare and highly desirable.  Past auctions of this baseball identify it as originating from the Mark Rucker Collection, one of the most important collections of early baseball artifacts and one that is well-known among hobbyists.  An outstanding, beautiful, highly desirable document of early amateur baseball.

Stunning 1880 Silver Trophy Baseball Presented to the Crescent Base Ball Club of Mt. Kisco, NYStunning 1880 Silver Trophy Baseball Presented to the Crescent Base Ball Club of Mt. Kisco, NYStunning 1880 Silver Trophy Baseball Presented to the Crescent Base Ball Club of Mt. Kisco, NYStunning 1880 Silver Trophy Baseball Presented to the Crescent Base Ball Club of Mt. Kisco, NY
Stunning 1880 Silver Trophy Baseball Presented to the Crescent Base Ball Club of Mt. Kisco, NY
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,900
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
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