Auction Item Details

Lot 45

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Lot Number: 45

Description: Rare and important Norfolk Phenoms large format photograph with Christy Mathewson c.1900. Sepia toned 11"x14" photograph showing uniformed members of the 1900 Norfolk Phenoms with Christy Mathewson in the back row (second from the right), along with their namesake Manager Phenomenal Smith (seated in middle row, second from right).The two had met in 1899 when they opposed each other in a game and when Smith was signed as player/Manager of the Phenoms in 1900 he brought Matty on for $90 a month. Mathewson flourished under his guidance and compiled a (21-2) record and so impressed the Giants that he would debut for them at Major League level in July of that year. A rocky start saw him demoted back to Norfolk before being signed by Cincinnati and later traded back to the Giants for Amos Rusie. Over nearly two decades which followed he developed into one of the greatest pitchers in history and Smith is largely credited with "discovering" Mathewson and helping to propel his storied career to the highest level. Studio photo remains on original mount (trimmed to match image size at the edges) and there is scattered wear including some surface flaws, a crack near the top edge (near the center), and a small section of missing material on the right edge. An exceptional image boasting crisp clarity and exceedingly rare with this being perhaps the lone surviving example. Includes Mathewson Collection certificate of provenance: GD/VG

Estimated Price Range: ($15,000-$25,000)

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