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Rare 1888 California League Scorecard of Spalding's World Tour (w/Anson, Ward and "Casey" Figures) - One of Two Known!

Lot Number 421

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NOTE: It was just brought to our attention that we mention "Blake" in the description as being a rostered name, however he is not listed on any of the rosters. Cooney and Flynn are rostered but Blake is not.


When Al Spalding's World Tour pulled into San Francisco on November 3, 1888, Cap Anson and company supped at a fine restaurant, adjourned to a theatrical show, and rounded out the night at a raucous outdoor political rally for Republican presidential candidate Benjamin Harrison. As Anson later recounted in his memoir, "The day after our arrival, November 4th, dawned bright and beautiful, but the haggard faces and the sleep-laden eyes of the tourists when they assembled at a late hour in the Baldwin Hotel rotunda boded ill for a good exhibition of the art of playing base-ball that we were to give that day." Indeed, the record crowd of 10,500 witnessed a rather sloppy affair won by Monte Ward's All-American squad over Anson's White Sox by the lopsided score of 14-4. Proudly presented is a surviving scorecard from that very historic contest—one of just two such relics that we are aware of. Spalding, Anson and Ward are depicted in engraved-portrait style on the cover, and player bios appear inside, along with scoring grids for three matches. The Chicago/All-Americans main event is tallied in pencil with player stats; the preceding amateur game is unscored; and the next day's California League face-off between the Pioneers and G & M's is likewise unscored. Of particular note, three rostered names—Cooney and Flynn—match those from Earnest Thayer's legendary poem "Casey at the Bat," published earlier that same year, at a time when the S.F. Examiner columnist was avidly following California League baseball. (An excerpt of the poem is on our website.) Measuring approximately 6-1/2 x 10", the evenly toned program rates VG/VG-EX with typical minor perimeter wear. Its original string binding remains firmly intact.

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day,

The score stood 4 to 2 with but one inning more to play,

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same

A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game...


...But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,

And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;

And when the dust had lifted and the men saw what had occurred.

There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

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