Still sharp more than 140 years after it was created, an 1878 Boston Red Stockings cabinet card featuring several pioneers of professional baseball is now up for grabs.
The 4 ¼” x 6 ½” composite card dates to the first decade of the franchise we now know as the Atlanta Braves. It includes headshots of the players for the powerhouse Red Stockings and an ad for George Wright’s baseball equipment company on the back.
Authenticated by SGC and rated 4 because of some wear primarily in the upper left and a light stain along the bottom, the card is expected to sell for $30,000 or more via Heritage Auctions’ Trading Card Auction underway now.
Eleven members of the squad are pictured on the front including Hall of Famers George and Harry Wright, who are pictured at the center. Fellow Hall of Famer Jim O’Rourke; Tommy Bond, Jack Burdock, Andy Leonard, Jack Manning, John Morrill, Harry Schafer, Charles “Pop” Snyder and Ezra Sutton round out the images. The Wrights had moved to Boston in the wake of the dissolution of the Cincinnati Red Stockings following that historic club’s second season in 1870.
The Red Stockings were a dynasty of sorts, winning six pennants in the 1870s including one in the year the cabinet card was produced. They went 41-19 that season, winning the second of back-to-back National League championships. The club is the oldest continually operating franchise in baseball, having become the Braves and shifted to Milwaukee in 1953 and finally Atlanta in 1966.
The Red Stockings cabinet card is one of hundreds of lots containing rare and high-grade vintage and modern era cards. The auction will close over a two-day period, April 18 and 19.