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> King's Ransom: Autograph Of 19th-Century, 'King' Kelly Could Fetch $100,000

Zimbow
post Nov 17 2011, 06:06 PM
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It was a grand occasion, the Boston Beaneaters' 1887 home opener and the first chance for fans to watch newly acquired star Mike "King" Kelly, whose batting and baserunning exploits were exceeded only by his élan.

He'd been purchased from the Chicago White Stockings for the unimaginable sum of $10,000 after leading the league with a .388 batting average and 155 runs. He'd invented the hook slide and the hit-and-run play, and stole as many as 84 bases in a season. He liked to address the crowd between pitches, banter with the umpire and bait the opposition, blurring the lines between baseball and performance art.

After the game, Kelly was off to the Boston Theatre, then to a banquet in his honor at the Elks Lodge. Mayor Hugh O'Brien presented him with a gold watch and chain. The 5˝-by-9˝ rigid card-stock program given to guests was festooned with red velvet ribbons. Its edges were gold leaf, its centerpiece a studio cabinet-style photograph of the striking, mustachioed Kelly.

He'd made fashionable the notion of signing an autograph when he rose to stardom with the Chicago White Stockings under legends Cap Anson and Albert Spalding. The post-Civil War era produced the first wave of American celebrities, from Mark Twain to Buffalo Bill, from John D. Rockefeller to John L. Sullivan.

Kelly was the first larger-than-life pro baseball player, and many of the Elks had him autograph their programs as the evening progressed, whiskey flowed and toasts became grandiose.

He dipped a black fountain pen into an inkwell, and signed, "Truly Yours, M.J. Kelly." One of the programs surfaced 124 years later, and it's in mint condition. Kelly's autograph is a rarity, and this one is perhaps the most valuable ever for a baseball player.

Many of the programs never even left the building that night. Thoroughly soused, Kelly was loaded into his carriage, normally horse-drawn. But on this night Elks and other admirers lifted the carriage and lugged it through the streets to his home.

It was a great night to be a Bostonian, a great night to be Irish, a great night to be King.

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Zimbow
post Nov 17 2011, 06:07 PM
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user posted image
3 YEAR Player, Lifetime Alumni!!!!!
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring" Rogers Hornsby
"Government is not reason; it is eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master" George Washington
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty" Thomas Jefferson
The loudest voices in support of war always comes from those who've never seen one".--Patton, 1944

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finestkind
post Nov 17 2011, 06:49 PM
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Cool stuff. smile.gif

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northicehero99
post Nov 17 2011, 06:58 PM
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Very interesting story, had never heard of him before this. Sad he died at 36 leaving a wife and kid.



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post Nov 17 2011, 06:59 PM
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QUOTE(northicehero99 @ Nov 17 2011, 06:58 PM)
Very interesting story, had never heard of him before this.  Sad he died at 36 leaving a wife and kid.
*





Long before our time Brian. smile.gif

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Kmart6nets
post Nov 17 2011, 08:01 PM
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Whoa... I'd like to find something like that! Help pay the bills tongue.gif


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post Nov 17 2011, 08:45 PM
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Wow, cool story smile.gif


Main Focus: Alex Brink, ANDREW LUCK, Peyton Manning, Thomas Robinson and Ultimate Collection.

Also Collecting: Beanie Wells, Bo Jackson, John Tavares, Kyle Turley, LeBron James, Ryan Nassib, Vitor Belfort, Star Trek & Wrestling.

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Zimbow
post Nov 21 2011, 02:27 PM
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The autographed piece sold for $214,000 plus change.


user posted image
3 YEAR Player, Lifetime Alumni!!!!!
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring" Rogers Hornsby
"Government is not reason; it is eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master" George Washington
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty" Thomas Jefferson
The loudest voices in support of war always comes from those who've never seen one".--Patton, 1944

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19th Century Indiana Jones
post Nov 21 2011, 06:18 PM
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What the....??!?!?!
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QUOTE(Zimbow @ Nov 21 2011, 02:27 PM)
The autographed piece sold for $214,000 plus change.
*



I just couldn't help myself. It will go nice with the 1887 Allen & Ginter N28 card I have of him. smile.gif



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Zimbow
post Nov 21 2011, 09:29 PM
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Knew you would end up getting it.


user posted image
3 YEAR Player, Lifetime Alumni!!!!!
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring" Rogers Hornsby
"Government is not reason; it is eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master" George Washington
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty" Thomas Jefferson
The loudest voices in support of war always comes from those who've never seen one".--Patton, 1944

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19th Century Indiana Jones
post Nov 22 2011, 07:36 AM
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I wish! But if I had a choice of owning a one-piece collection, that item would be it!



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northicehero99
post Nov 22 2011, 12:54 PM
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QUOTE(Zimbow @ Nov 21 2011, 02:27 PM)
The autographed piece sold for $214,000 plus change.
*


Nice sell price, imagine finding something like that in your attic, that would be awesome!



QUOTE(19th Century Indiana Jones @ Nov 22 2011, 07:36 AM)
I wish! But if I had a choice of owning a one-piece collection, that item would be it!
*


I would probably have to go with the most famous baseball card of all - the Honus Wagner. That is neat though, guess its a "homer" thing. laugh.gif



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CardsFromTheAttic
post Dec 11 2011, 03:54 PM
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When the umpire wasn't looking, he would scoot right across the diamond from 1st to 3rd and act like he just took two

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