Six years before Wrigley Field opened, the last Chicago Cubs team to win a World Series for the next 108 years gathered for a team photograph. It was 31 years before the Baseball Hall of Fame would open its doors and eventually four of the players on that squad, including player-manager Frank Chance, would be elected.
Now, an original copy of that 6 x 7 3/4″ cabinet photo is on the auction block. The Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions is expected to be among the top-selling items in the company’s Fall Premier event when bidding comes to a close on November 10. It’s among more than 1,000 photos in the auction. The company calls it “among the mort important team photos in the hobby.”
Taken at the West Side Grounds in Chicago, the photo pictures team members in full uniform. Despite some expected corner wear due to age, the photo remains in reasonably good condition.
In addition to Chance, the photo includes shortstop Joe Tinker, who led the Cubs with six homers that season, second baseman Johnny Evers, the only regular who batted .300, pitching ace Mordecai ‘Three Finger” Brown who finished 29-8 and fellow starter Ed Ruelbach, who remains the only pitcher in history to toss back to back shutouts on the same day.
The Cubs won their third straight pennant in 1908, then defeated a young Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers to win their second straight World Series, with the final game drawing only 6,210 fans, in part because of a ticket-scalping scandal that soured some fans. Not until 2016 would the Cubs win again.