One of just three surviving examples of the ornate 1886 championship pins awarded to members of the St. Louis Browns has been consigned to auction by descendants of the man who helped win it for them.
It’s currently being offered in Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night event, set to close February 25-26.
Discovered by owner Chris von der Ahe while pitching semi-pro ball in Michigan, Foutz outdueled White Sox ace John Clarkson in the fourth game of the American Association championship, knotting the series at two games apiece. The Browns went on to take the title and team members were presented with the pins.
Sadly, like many contemporaries, Foutz suffered from illness, afflicted with asthma for his entire life. In addition to his mound duties, he also played first base and the outfield. He died in Maryland at age 40 following an asthma attack. The pin remained in his family and was well cared for over the decades. It is being offered for the first time.
The front proclaims the Browns victory as “World Champions”. The back includes the words “Presented to David Foutz by the Citizens of St. Louis as a token of Esteem, 1886.”
According to Heritage, it’s just the third example of an 1886 Browns championship pin ever to come to a major hobby auction and the first to be presented in over a decade.
A small pinback featuring Foutz and other items relating to his life including a business card are included with the lot, which carries pre-sale estimate of $30,000 or more.
After his time with St. Louis, Foutz went on to play for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, ending his career as a player-manager in 1896.
Foutz’s .690 career win-loss percentage remains tied for third all-time.