A group of rare, early World Series programs including one from the second Fall Classic ever played, has been consigned to auction by a collector and will be sold later this fall.
Among the group to be offered by Hunt Auctions at the upcoming Louisville Slugger auction are programs from 1905, 1906, 1907 and 1908. The first World Series was played in 1903 and there was no Series in '04. Only a few other examples have hit the auction block in recent years.
“I’ve done this for 20 years and we’ve had less than five pre-1910 programs," said Hunt Auctions' president David Hunt, whose company had them on display at the recent National Sports Collectors Convention. "Right now, there are six of them in the showcase. They just do not turn up. Some of these are in just incredible condition. They’re probably the best copies out there in some cases.”
The early programs contain photos, lineups and advertising, but the cover art is often ornate. Many were dumped in ballpark trash cans or were turned over to paper drives during war time. Compared to baseball cards from the same era, they are exceptionally rare.
"You just don’t see those anymore," Hunt said. " The ones that are out there have been absorbed into major collections and they’re not being re-sold so it’ll be very interesting to see what kind of benchmarks are set in terms of pricing because when things like this finally do come up, they usually bring a lot more than the estimate.”