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Old 12-14-2017, 10:19 AM
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Default Memory Lane Players' League Document Find

Since catalogs have just come out I am interested in the response to the Players' League document find featured in the year-end Memory Lane Auction. From an historical perspective I consider it one of the more exciting finds in many years. From the perspective of an autograph collector (I am not one) I would think this unprecedented. What do you guys, especially those interested in early baseball history, think?
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldjudge View Post
Since catalogs have just come out I am interested in the response to the Players' League document find featured in the year-end Memory Lane Auction. From an historical perspective I consider it one of the more exciting finds in many years. From the perspective of an autograph collector (I am not one) I would think this unprecedented. What do you guys, especially those interested in early baseball history, think?
I saw the documents at the National, and they're very cool, regardless of their monetary value. As someone who does a lot of archival research in one of my other lives (as a theater historian), and as a longtime student of early baseball history (and a member of SABR's 19th century e-mail list), I'm excited, though I hope scans of the documents will remain available to researchers.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:35 PM
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Some background on that item in an audio report from
NPR's "Only a Game" podcast of December 8:
https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510052/only-a-game

Oh, to think what got trashed before anyone realized...
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2017, 06:13 PM
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Default Wow factor

Certainly a chance to own a one of a kind piece of history!!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:09 PM
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Definitely history, but more like that would be cool to see in a museum cool, and not something I personally connect with to the point where I would drop a small fortune on it.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 12-15-2017 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:58 PM
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Just had a chance to browse these documents; really fires the imagination, thinking back to the game at that time. I hope that the lucky winner allows occasional public access, perhaps lends them now and then to a museum.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:15 PM
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I agree; it would be great to see an exhibit at Cooperstown about the Players' League. However, since Cooperstown is so beholding to MLB, you wonder if they would ever highlight an organization which went head to head with the NL.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:18 AM
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Did anyone end up getting anything from this amazing find?
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:55 AM
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The signed Keefe and Ward documents sold for far less than I thought. I was away but wish I had remembered to check that ink signed Keefe, I thought it would bring 30k+. I think announcing that there were several in the find kept the price lower than if they had just brought one to auction. It was a great pickup for the new owner!
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:09 PM
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Couple of items had one bid. I think the Forbes article was a little over the top. These should be in a museum somewhere, not in demand collectibles in my mind.
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:00 PM
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Couple of items had one bid. I think the Forbes article was a little over the top. These should be in a museum somewhere, not in demand collectibles in my mind.
I don't understand this thought.

At all.

Something as thoroughly and passionately collected as baseball memorabilia...for there to be an item that would go great in a museum but not in someone's collection? How is that even possible? Can you name other such baseball collectibles that would be museum worthy but not of collectible interest? Just doesn't make sense.
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:08 PM
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I don't understand this thought.

At all.

Something as thoroughly and passionately collected as baseball memorabilia...for there to be an item that would go great in a museum but not in someone's collection? How is that even possible? Can you name other such baseball collectibles that would be museum worthy but not of collectible interest? Just doesn't make sense.
A copy of a lease to buy a plot of land. A legal document. And a terribly boring one at that.

I have no interest in owning a lease to a plot of land. It might have some historical significant. But I don't see why it would be of great interest to collectors, despite it's historical significance (or not).

1000s of collectors looked at it and one person placed one bid on it. I guess that makes my point.

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Old 01-14-2018, 02:22 PM
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It was the lease to the land on which the stadium that the Giants played in until they moved to SF. It also was negotiated by John Ward, the driving force behind the Players' League. If you find it boring then apparently you have limited interest in baseball history. If it doesn't fit in a collection of a memorabilia collector then why would it warrant display space in a museum where the typical visitor is more interested in colorful displays than historically significant items?
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapolit1 View Post
A copy of a lease to buy a plot of land. A legal document. And a terribly boring one at that.

I have no interest in owning a lease to a plot of land. It might have some historical significant. But I don't see why it would be of great interest to collectors, despite it's historical significance (or not).

1000s of collectors looked at it and one person placed one bid on it. I guess that makes my point.
No. The starting bid was very high. Just because there was one person willing to pay $2,400 for it doesn't mean there was little interest.

I won the Players League by-laws. Perhaps you see it as being a boring legal document with little collectible appeal. I see a document that was written in large part by John Montgomery Ward and debated and ratified by a group of players that included Hanlon and Keefe and Pfeffer. I see a document that stated the rules of play for a league that was incredibly far ahead of its time. That was the first in a series of challenges to the owners oligopoly which eventually would culminate in free agency and would forever change the sport.
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by btcarfagno View Post
No. The starting bid was very high. Just because there was one person willing to pay $2,400 for it doesn't mean there was little interest.

I won the Players League by-laws. Perhaps you see it as being a boring legal document with little collectible appeal. I see a document that was written in large part by John Montgomery Ward and debated and ratified by a group of players that included Hanlon and Keefe and Pfeffer. I see a document that stated the rules of play for a league that was incredibly far ahead of its time. That was the first in a series of challenges to the owners oligopoly which eventually would culminate in free agency and would forever change the sport.
but will PSA grade it?
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:58 PM
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These are historical docs. If you bought one enjoy it. When I said the Forbes article was excessive I meant the valuations hinted at in the article. And maybe I am wrong on that. Obviously they had minimal interest to me and many others as collectibles to add to our collections. I'm guessing the consignor thought he was sitting on a payday of a lot more than $150,000 for the whole lot based on the hype this latest and greatest find generated.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 01-14-2018 at 02:59 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2018, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapolit1 View Post
These are historical docs. If you bought one enjoy it. When I said the Forbes article was excessive I meant the valuations hinted at in the article. And maybe I am wrong on that. Obviously they had minimal interest to me and many others as collectibles to add to our collections. I'm guessing the consignor thought he was sitting on a payday of a lot more than $150,000 for the whole lot based on the hype this latest and greatest find generated.
There were also three other Tim Keefe autographs and a JM Ward autograph that was not part of this auction group. So either there is more coming or those four items were sold privately. If those pieces were sold privately, it brings the find over $200,000 most likely. If there is another group yet to hit the auction block, who knows what the total will be.

In any event, it was an historically important find.
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:31 PM
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I do not understand the historical comment either. The original Laws of Base Ball were auctioned for well over 3 million dollars, dont know how many bidders there were, but that has absolutely no bearing on the interest or historical importance.
There does seem to more of a split between those interested in items of historical interest and importance, and those that can be graded, ranked, and/or sold for a quick profit. To each their own in collecting, but the split seems to growing.
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Old 01-15-2018, 04:14 PM
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I'm not at all surprised at the lack of bids. I understand there is history behind a lease, but it's a lease to 99.9 % of all people. Everyone understand supply and demand and I'm not at all surprised that this supply generated limited demand. Tim Keefe's autograph would only be on someone's completionist list. I don't know of anyone who is Tim Keefe's number 1 fan.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:08 AM
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http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsei...for-over-125k/
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Old 01-20-2018, 09:02 AM
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Fingers crossed that at least one person who told me that I don't know what I was talking about read the Forbes article and tell me they still don't understand my comments in the thread.
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Old 01-20-2018, 12:26 PM
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Steve, I'm not sure I follow you.
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
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Fingers crossed that at least one person who told me that I don't know what I was talking about read the Forbes article and tell me they still don't understand my comments in the thread.
I didn't see the original article. Did it speculate some massive number like $500,000 or something? I mean, it looks like it will fetch $225,000. Not exactly chump change.
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