Hunt Auctions has discovered a significant cache of autographed correspondence and general ephemera relating to a proposed baseball All-Star Tour to have taken place in 1910. The letters and contracts have been added to the company's upcoming Louisville Slugger Auction set for next month.
Cincinnati promoter Daniel A. Fletcher (DA) had set out to conduct a series of post season barnstorming All-Star game between numerous Major League Baseball players. Fletcher offered the players between $500-$1,000 each to appear in the series inclusive of some of the biggest stars in the game such as Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Nap Lajoie, and Christy Mathewson. Organized baseball was outraged at the prospects of their star players engaging in these games for fear that they would tarnish the glamour of the World Series and increase the risk of player injury. As such, the National Commission whose three-part membership was formed to protect the interests of the American and National Leagues set forth a ban of all organized baseball stadiums to allow Fletcher's games to be played within.
Furthermore, the Commission threatened to ban any player who took part in Fletcher's series from participating in the World Series. The Commission eventually squashed the series and players were asked to return any checks they might have received. This particular series of events clearly illustrated the players' continued disdain for ownership's regulation of their rights.
Just a few short years later the players would, in part, further succeed in their efforts of protest with the formation of the Federal League in 1914-1915.
The auction is open for online pre-bidding until Thursday, November 10 at 10 p.m. EST. High bids and ceiling bids placed during the pre-bidding period will be executed competitively during the Live Auction, which takes place in Louisville on Saturday, November 12. Bids for the live auction may be made in person at the auction, via phone at 610.524.0822 or online at www.HuntAuctions.com. Additional information, photos, and a complete listing of items available can be found online as well.
Hunt Auctions will be holding a preview exhibition and free appraisal fair at the Museum & Factory on Thursday, November 10 from 9am-5pm EST and Friday, November 11 from 9am-4pm. Bidders will be able to view live all items on sale at the auction and have their own items appraised during this time.