Hake’s Auctions is pleased to present the second installment of an amazing baseball memorabilia collection that was diligently assembled over a span of nearly two decades. This once-in-a-lifetime offering comes on the heels of Major League Baseball’s recent announcement that Negro League Baseball history is now officially part of Major League Baseball’s record books, including the lifetime statistics of over 3,400 players. Comprised not only of the most significant images representing a half century of Negro League Baseball in the U.S., this discerning group of treasures also includes a number of pieces originating from the Latin American countries of Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. With just over 30 items in total, quality and rarity surely trump quantity here as this collection centered around the acquisition of career contemporary images for all 35 National Baseball Hall of Fame selectees within the Negro Leagues category.
Following the tremendously successful results of Auction #231, which saw many of the “Black Ball Collection” items realize record prices, this latest array of rare Negro League baseball memorabilia is sure to draw the interest of collectors far and wide. Leading things off is an original 7.5x9.5” presentation photograph taken by the famed Harrison Photography Studios of Hot Springs, Arkansas and depicting one of the greatest professional baseball clubs of all time, the 1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords. This beauty represents the earliest known image capturing both the legendary Satchel Paige and powerful Josh Gibson together during the prime of their respective careers and the historical importance of this photo is further enhanced by the inclusion of perhaps the greatest all-around Negro League ballplayer of all time, Oscar Charleston. In fact, during 2017, this identical image, in postcard form, brought a record price of $36,000 for a Negro League team postcard at public auction.
Equally as significant as the Crawfords piece is an astonishing 1937 original Dominican Republic team photograph depicting the Ciudad Trujillo ball club, once again headed by HOF teammates, Paige & Gibson and joined this time by a third all-time great, Cool Papa Bell. Finally, if crystal clear imagery is your forte, our 1915 Chicago American Giants real photo postcard is not to be missed. In addition to featuring one of the great black baseball dynasties of all-time, this treasure is highlighted by the presence of Negro League superstars: Rube Foster, Pete Hill and “Pop” Lloyd.
With the selection of other historic Negro League photos and postcards up for auction here, this is an event not to be missed as many of these rarities are unique and may never come up again for public auction. These incredible artifacts not only capture great moments in time from a sports perspective, but they also portray an oftentimes unseen part of American culture during the first half of the 20th Century. The interest in Black baseball memorabilia has never been higher as it will now be possible to compare all-time greats from both the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues during the pre-integration era.