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1906 Philadelphia Giants Negro League Team Photo

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1906 Philadelphia Giants Negro League Team Photo

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In the strictest sense, this photograph doesn’t depict a “Negro Leagues” team at all – it quite pre-dates the structured leagues as they emerged in 1920. Pictured here is an independent team calling itself the Philadelphia Giants which was the brainchild of sportswriter Walter Schlichter. The team was launched in 1902 and immediately commanded wide respect. It was in 1904, however, that Schlichter (by way of his able manager, Sol White) lured superstar Rube Foster from the archrival Cuban X-Giants. In their loosely-defined circuit, the Philadelphia team (now with Foster) essentially commanded the summit through the 1909 season. But this was the last of their glory as an irreparable fissure opened between Schlichter and Sol White which led to the team’s conclusive atrophy.

Meanwhile, 1906, these Giants fashioned a most remarkable season as they claimed 108 victories in a 145-game schedule. And it was in the course of that campaign that they posed for posterity. This resultant photograph has been deemed of the Type IV by PSA – which translates as a 2nd (or later) generation photo developed from a duplicate negative, minimally more recent than two years distant from the original. By that determination, the actual vintage of this offered photograph is ambiguous. Particularly, we report that it’s an 8″ x 10″ characterized by a moderate crease in the lower right corner as well as several mild creases elsewhere (principally toward the lower left) – none of which fracture the top ply of the photo. On the reverse there appears a notation (applied, apparently, in black felt tip) stating “Unlogged 1906 Black Baseball Phila. Giants (Walter Schlichter [white] owner.” As for the detailing of the pictured elements, we identify Schlichter, and Sol White likely sits to his immediate left. Rube Foster, we believe is the tallest player standing in the back row. The caption, “Season 1906”, was not applied to this print but, instead, to the original. This photo is a splendid rendering of a highly successful independent, Black baseball team that only anticipated the coming of the Negro Leagues – and one showcasing the Hall of Famer, Rube Foster, at the peak of his playing career.

PSA-DNA Full Letter


Auction End: 27-Jul-06  Post Views: 3302

Price; $0.00 – $0.00




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