Lot # 161: 1888 Stockton Baseball Club Team Cabinet with George Stallings

Starting Bid: $500.00

Bids: 11 (Bid History)

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Exceedingly rare team cabinet card picturing thirteen members of the 1888 Stockton Millers, champions of the California League. The composite photo features portrait images of each team member dressed in formal attire, with each player identified in print below his respective image. The print is very small and two of the names have faded beyond legibility, but the remaining 11 identified players are J. P. Carroll (Mgr.), George Stallings, who later achieved fame as manager of the 1914 "Miracle Braves," Harry O'Day, Henry Moore, William Wehrle, Ed Lorrigan, Norm Baker, Len Stockwell, George Harper, Charles Sweeney, and H. Howard. The text reads "1888 Champions Stockton BBC 1888." The photographer's credit stamp, "Excelsior Art Gallery - 183 Main St. Stockton, Cal.," appears along the base of the mount and on the reverse. While most collectors may not be familiar with the Stockton team today, the club may be more famous than many might suspect. It has been suggested by some that the 1888 Stockton club was the inspiration for Ernest Thayer's beloved baseball poem Casey at the Bat. Thayer wrote the poem in 1888 while living in San Francisco, which was just a short steamboat ride to Stockton. Furthermore, Stockton was known as "Mudville" at the time, which was the name of Casey's team, immortalized in the first stanza of the poem: "The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day; the score stood four to two, with but one inning left to play." This is just the second example of this historically significant cabinet we have ever seen and the first we have offered. The cabinet card (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays a slight blemish at the base of the mount. Both light staining and a few areas of surface paper loss are evident on the reverse, as is the stamp of a San Francisco book dealer. In Very Good condition, but closer to Excellent in its overall appearance. Reserve $500. Estimate (open).

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