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Graded 20 Fair 1.5 by SGC. In the strictest sense, the team depicted on this ancient CDV was the "Athletic," a professional baseball team operating in Philadelphia that quite pre-dated Connie Mack or the National League. Their noble photo portraits - ten of them - fairly comprised the squad that one year hence franchised themselves into the National Association (1871, and, in fact, finished with the best record in the loop that season). The players on this team, however, were bonded only to the Athletic. And their glory is abundantly reported on the face of this antique. It's an 1870 carte-de-visite; it measures 2-1/2" x 4-1/4", and clockwise from the top, there are included here Fergy Malone, Wes Fisler, Tom Pratt, Count Sensenderfer, Harry Schafer, Tom Berry, George Bechtel, John Radcliff, Al Reach, and featured in the center is their 24-year old star pitcher, Dick McBride. The card has been assessed 'Fair' by SGC, and we'd imagine that such is substantiated by a superficial crease (top ply only) that extends from the lower right edge. As well, we note on the reverse that a small abrasion appears below the identity of the card's printer-photographer. The photographer was a certain John Gihon of Philadelphia, as is smartly printed on the reverse. The consuming novelty in this piece is its depiction of Al Reach who, as we all know, went on to fashion a mighty empire in sports publishing and equipment marketing. In his playing career though, Reach was a highly respected ballplayer and, we've learned, Cooperstown's Veterans Committee will again be considering the merits of Al's enshrinement in the coming year.
1870 John L. Gihon Studio "Athletic B.B.C." CDV Featuring Al Reach
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