Lot # 2083: 1903 Original Chicago Cubs Team Photograph with Tinker, Evers, and Chance - First Season in Which Chicago Became Known as the "Cubs"

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 15 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "REA Fall 2018",
which ran from 10/5/2018 5:00 PM to
10/28/2018 7:00 PM

Extraordinary original photo capturing 19 members of the 1903 Chicago Cubs posing together in front of the grandstand, including Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker, Bobby Lowe, Johnny Kling, Jake Weimer, and manager Frank Selee. 1903 was a historic year in franchise history because it was the first season in which the club was most commonly referred to as the "Cubs." Chicago was a founding member of the National League in 1876, at which time the team was known as the White Stockings. In 1890, the team name was changed to the Colts, and then in 1898, when longtime star and manager Cap Anson retired, they were known as the Chicago Orphans. After a horrible season in 1901, in which the club finished with a 58-81 record, Chicago began rebuilding with many young players, including both Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers. Because of the influx of youthful talent on the team, a few reporters began referring to the club as Selee's "Cubs" in 1902. (At the time, "cub" was a common term for a young ballplayer.) The name "Cubs" quickly became popular with both fans and sportswriters, and in 1903 that was the name most commonly used by newspapers when identifying the team. Although the team was still referred to as "Orphans" or "Colts" by some in the few years that followed, nearly all historians point to 1903 as the year in which the "Cubs" were born. Its historical significance aside, the offered photo is also exceedingly rare. This is one of only three original 1903 Chicago Cubs team photos we have ever seen (all three are different) and the first we have offered. Although no year is listed, it can be conclusively dated to 1903 by the combination of players pictured, specifically Bobby Lowe (standing, second from the left) and Jake Weimer (standing, first on the right). (Lowe and Weimer played together with the Cubs only in 1903.) The photo (10 x 7 inches), which offers exceptional clarity, is mounted on heavy cardboard stock (matching the dimensions of the photo), There is a large chip in the lower left corner, and a heavy diagonal crease in the upper right quadrant. A few minor chips and tears are also evident along the perimeter, as are a few light stains. It should be noted that the central image area is free of any significant defects and nearly all of the aforementioned flaws can either be addressed by professional restoration or can easily be matted out. This is a remarkable dead-ball era photo in all respects and one of the finest early Chicago Cubs pieces we have ever handled. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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