Spring, 2015 Premier Catalog Auction - Closes March 28, 2015
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/29/2015

El Diamante Negro ("the Black Diamond") is a legend in his home country of Cuba, one of the players inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 1939.  Mendez rose to worldwide fame after throwing 25 consecutive shutout innings in three appearances against the Cincinnati Reds, including a one-hit complete game shutout.  Soon after, he pitched two more shutouts, racking up 43 consecutive scoreless innings.

An arm injury in 1914 caused Mendez to move to shortstop, where he played with the Detroit Stars and Chicago American Giants of the Negro Leagues, ultimately landing with the Kansas City Monarchs as player/manager, winning three consecutive pennants between 1923-25.  In the first Negro League World Series in 1924 against the Hilldale team, he appeared in four games, posting a 2-0 record including a shutout victory in the final game.  

No less a baseball mind than John McGraw called Mendez "sort of Walter Johnson and Grover Alexander rolled into one."  Mendez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Negro League Committee in 2006.

Presented here is a stunning real photo postcard featuring Mendez in a dashing suit and boater hat, posing in a wicker chair.  That such a dignified-looking, well-dressed man could be a superstar in his homeland but unable to even sleep in most hotels in the United States is a sad blemish on our beloved game.  However, this lovely photo tells only the story of a well-dressed baseball star, gracefully posed for a studio photograph.

The card itself has been graded FAIR 20 by SGC, acknowledging the subject based on research conducted by forensic facial analysis expert Mark Fimoff.  The postcard looks to be in VG/EX condition, presenting extraordinarily well for the technical grade which is marred by Mendez' name, written lightly in pencil on the reverse.  The postcard, which has not been mailed, is likely one of the earliest images of the Hall of Famer, who's 1910 Punch Cigarros card is recognized as his "rookie card."  An example of that Punch card graded AUTHENTIC by SGC sold at auction for nearly $33,000 in 2011.  This example, dated roughly to the same era, is the only example graded and quite possibly the only one of its kind in existence.  An absolutely stunning, regal-looking example of an extraordinary card, featuring one of the greatest pitchers in Cuban and Negro League history.

Incredible C. 1910s Jose Mendez (HOF) Real Photo Postcard - SGC FAIR 20Incredible C. 1910s Jose Mendez (HOF) Real Photo Postcard - SGC FAIR 20
Incredible C. 1910s Jose Mendez (HOF) Real Photo Postcard - SGC FAIR 20
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,950
Number Bids: 16
Auction closed on Sunday, March 29, 2015.
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