Authenticated and Graded by SGC 10 POOR 1.
When the 1894 baseball season opened, the Baltimore Orioles were not considered a contender, but when the dust had settled, Ned Hanlon's upstart Orioles had won their first National League pennant. Due in large part to the combative nature of John McGraw, the Orioles terrorized their opponents, spiking enemy infielders, tripping and holding baserunners, and generally willing to win at any cost. Despite a woeful pitching staff, Baltimore used their superior hitting and fielding skills to lead them to the NL title and are remembered as one of the greatest teams of the 19th Century. This cabinet photo by Betz of Baltimore presents the champions in suit and tie cameos: John McGraw, Ned Hanlon, Wee Willie Keeler, Hughie Jennings, Dan Brouthers, Wilbert Robinson, Joe Kelley, Kid Gleason, Steve Brodie, Boileryard Clarke, Heinie Reitz, Sadie McMahon, Bill Hawke, Duke Esper, George Hemming, and Frank Bonner were all part of the legacy of that great team - which had 7 Hall of Famers!
The 6 x 4 photo offers sharp images of these men in bow ties with lapel flowers, a contrast to their knockdown style of play that made them a part of baseball history. The photo, which uses the same images from the super rare and expensive 1894 Alpha Engraving set, appears EX, but has a small edge tear along the left and a tack hole in the upper right. The mount shows some light corner wear, a small area of paper loss on the lower right (affecting the address), plus the reverse has several areas of tape and light paper loss. Despite these flaws, this is a distinctly difficult example, seldom seen or available. While technically graded properly as SGC 10, the eye appeal far outweighs any handling wear.
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