The Homestead Grays of 1930 and ’31 are often lauded as one of the greatest teams in baseball history. Playing as an independent team, the star-studded roster stopped in Hot Springs, Arkansas where their greatest was captured for what collectors know today as a real photo postcard.
Taken by the Harrison Studio, the one-of-a-kind relic from a rare photo shoot is graded PSA 5 and expected to fetch $10,000 or more when it appears at Heritage Auctions in August.
White text below the sepia real photo: “Homestead Grays of 1931, 4-3-31, Colored Champions.”
Harrison Studios is believed to have produced Grays postcards from 1930-32 as several player cards are known. Another Grays team card from 1930 has a 3/30/30 date. The cards are the standard 3 ½” x 5 ½” size.
The Grays were already a force when they added 19-year-old Josh Gibson to the roster. Gibson is in the team photo here along with team founder Cumberland Posey, Oscar Charleston, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe and Smokey Joe Williams and the rest of the roster that posed for the historically invaluable photo on that day.
“You could safely say this: Rarely, if ever, have more of the very best that the Negro Leagues have ever had were wearing the same uniform at the same time,” Brian Carroll, a college professor and noted authority on the Negro Leagues told MLB.com in 2007. “I mean, that roster just makes your mouth water.”
It’s the only item of its kind in PSA’s population report, with some minor edge and corner wear accounting for the EX rating. The back of the postcard remains unused.
Eleven cards are listed in the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball cards including an individual card of Gibson that sold for $86,330 in a 2007 auction. A Pittsburgh Crawfords team card from 1932 is also part of the checklist, which is likely incomplete.
The August Platinum Night auction is slated to conclude with a live bidding session August 19-20.