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Extremely Rare 1885 Baseball Scorecard with John L. Sullivan 
Lot Number 287
 
Quantity: Bid Started: 09/12/2005 00:30:00 
Bid Open: 300.00  Bid Ends: 09/29/2005 00:20:52 
Bid Count: 17  Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 900.00  Time Left: 0m 0s 
       
 
Description

Ephemeral baseball scorecards from the late 19th century are rare and those with colorful lithograph baseball images are even more difficult; but an unmarked, pre-printed 1885 scorecard featuring the then heavyweight boxing champion John L. Sullivan as a pitcher teeters upon true obscurity. This miraculous artifact features teams from Forest City, OH and Sandusky, OH in a pastoral Sunday afternoon game September 13, 1885 with boxing legend John L. Sullivan pitching for Forest City and batting sixth. Prior to the start of his boxing dominance, Sullivan enjoyed a solid career as a semi-pro ballplayer in the Boston area and was good enough to have been offered a contract with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, which he declined. But in 1885 and just two weeks before this celebrity pitching performance, Sullivan had defeated Dominick McCaffrey in Cincinnati in a heavyweight title defense. This was not the only time in which Sullivan pitched for a local semi-pro team; he had once pitched at the Polo Grounds in May of 1883 when the park first opened. The relic’s condition is nearly as astounding as its rarity, the 6” x 7 ½” scorecard remains unmarked and exhibits only the mildest of wear on the edges. The flipside features two colored lithographs separated by a center fold. The image on the right depicts the prototypical baseball player in the 1880s, complete with high top leather boots and a bottle-handled baseball bat. The powder blue borders show little chipping and the overall presentation of this tribute to two great sports is aesthetically pure. This may be the finest surviving example of this grandiose artifact, thousands were produced but how many remain in solid, vivid EX condition. 
 
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