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1886 Pittsburgh Alleghenys Scorecard With Pud Galvin on Cover

Lot Number 271

Quantity: Bid Starts: 04/01/2013 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 750.00  Bid Ends: 04/12/2013 00:19:49 
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The site of the first-ever American professional football game in 1892, Pittsburgh’s Recreation Park had already established itself as a baseball venue, serving as the home to the American Association’s Pittsburgh Alleghenys from 1884 to 1886. Sadly, there are no known photographs of the full 2,500-seat structure in existence. Miraculously, however, this Pittsburgh Alleghenys scorecard has survived. Issued at the famed Steel City edifice for the August 4, 1886 contest between the Alleghenys and Brooklyn Grays, the decidedly rare piece is the thick stock two-page relic featuring a colorful cover with ornate finery accenting a central black-and-white likeness of pitcher Pud Galvin (listed as “J.F. Galvin”). While it’s an ironclad fact that Recreation Park artifacts have all but ceased to exist, such are the sentiments regarding performers like Galvin. The first-ever 300-game winner, Galvin had authored back-to-back 46-win campaigns (1883, 1884) en route to 646 career complete games. The center pages feature scorecards with pre-printed lineups and have been marked in pencil to document a 5-3 Alleghenys’ triumph. Having apparently hit their stride with an 18-0 whitewashing of the Grays the day before, the Alleghenys’ August 4 win upped their mark to a (then) season-high 18 games above the .500 mark. The durable Galvin, incidentally, did not pitch on this day, as the assignment went to 19-year-old Jim Handiboe (who was never again to pitch at the Major League level after that season). The back cover features vibrant colors and local advertisements. While the corners are soft (as expected for a scorecard composed to completion more than 125 years ago), this crease-free heirloom is one of the earliest-known souvenirs simultaneously celebrating (among other things) Pittsburgh Baseball and a Hall of Famer who was the first to gain membership in an esteemed pitching fraternity.

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