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  #1  
Old 03-05-2021, 06:45 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Default 1870 Trophy Ball

Amazing find. I think so anyway.

And what I find so cool about it.....this was just 5 years after the Civil War. The Civil War man!. That kinda blows my mind. I can't imagine there being too many documented balls around earlier then this one. If so, John probably has it.

I ran it past fellow NET54-er John, who has a freaking amazing 19th Century collection, and he liked it, and he ran it past Corey Leiby....:

https://www.sportsantiques.com/corey...collection.htm

....who also confirmed it's good. In fact he once owned it. I feel honored by that alone.

I may not have the story 100% right, but per John there was a find about twenty years ago of these balls. He has one. Also said maybe they came out of LeHigh College (founded 1865 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) their museum released some to the public after over 100 years, this was about 20 years ago. If anyone here heard anything about that, please let me know the details.

This is one of them. Now what I don't know is if this team "Mutual" is THEE Mutuals of New York, based out of Brooklyn....in 1870, or another Mutuals team, if there was in fact more then one Mutuals, such an odd name.

This REA one also has singular MUTUAL written on it, so thinking could be, not sure.

https://robertedwardauctions.com/auc...tuals-gothams/

I do like this quote from the REA writeup:
"The Mutuals were not only one of the best teams on the East Coast at the time, but one of the most infamous as well. Political historians will note that the Mutuals were owned by notorious Tammany Hall politician Boss Tweed, one of the most corrupt politicians in New York City history."
Maybe he wanted Bill "The Butcher" Cutting to pitch for his team. I don't know I'm flippin' the bat on a long ball off a guy who has a meat cleaver in his belt loop, but I digress.....

There was a Negro League Team one that looks to be from this same find that went for silly money, so that's kind of cool this ball being from the same find:

https://robertedwardauctions.com/auc...ague-baseball/


So was this team this team from what basically was the first league formed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...e_Ball_Players


"if" this is the very same Mutual club, then that would makes it a little more neat........that team won the Championship in 1868 & 1870!!! And with an offense that put up 55, you can see why, although the other team put up 47, so they just needed a touchdown and go for 2 for the tie. So this one appeared to have been a dogfight. Guy probably threw 375 pitches and pitched the following day.

Thinking/hoping I fell ass backwards into something, I mean Allentown PA and Brooklyn are only 96 miles apart......could have it been a road trip?....if not still a very cool being a ball from that time frame. 5 years after the North defeated the South. My God.

oh and what I meant by falling ass backwards....I was searching for a Baseball Trophy, and found a Trophy Baseball.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1870Ball1.jpg (73.4 KB, 209 views)
File Type: jpg 1870Ball2.jpg (72.1 KB, 218 views)
File Type: jpg 1870Ball3.jpg (73.2 KB, 213 views)

Last edited by Shoeless Moe; 03-06-2021 at 12:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2021, 07:39 PM
ooo-ribay's Avatar
ooo-ribay ooo-ribay is offline
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So, you got this ball? If so, congrats! Amazing find!
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2021, 07:47 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooo-ribay View Post
So, you got this ball? If so, congrats! Amazing find!
yup.

"Thank ya, thank ya very much."
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2021, 08:07 PM
aelefson aelefson is online now
Alan Elefson
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Hi-

Incredible find! I have one myself (antique shop purchase a few months ago) from the same group that Corey sold (back in 1995!). Mine is 1871. I believe they put the team they played that day on the ball. Mine also says Mutual as the team but I am fairly certain mine does not refer to the well known Mutual team. I believe there was a local PA team named Mutual (or Mutuals). I had checked the more well known Mutuals team box scores and they were not in PA at that time.

I believe the team the balls came from might be the QuikSteps (or QuickSteps) but I based that on the research into the expensive ball that sold at REA and I am not 100% sure where I read the home team name.

I hope you enjoy yours! I am very happy to own mine. I have seen pictures of another 5-7 of these with the similar painting. Please let me know if you find any additional information and I will do the same.

Alan
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2021, 08:11 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aelefson View Post
Hi-

Incredible find! I have one myself (antique shop purchase a few months ago) from the same group that Corey sold (back in 1995!). Mine is 1871. I believe they put the team they played that day on the ball. Mine also says Mutual as the team but I am fairly certain mine does not refer to the well known Mutual team. I believe there was a local PA team named Mutual (or Mutuals). I had checked the more well known Mutuals team box scores and they were not in PA at that time.

I believe the team the balls came from might be the QuikSteps (or QuickSteps) but I based that on the research into the expensive ball that sold at REA and I am not 100% sure where I read the home team name.

I hope you enjoy yours! I am very happy to own mine. I have seen pictures of another 5-7 of these with the similar painting. Please let me know if you find any additional information and I will do the same.

Alan
Good info! Thank you!!! Yes, and hopefully more will post info.
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2021, 10:31 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aelefson View Post
Hi-

I believe the team the balls came from might be the QuikSteps (or QuickSteps) but I based that on the research into the expensive ball that sold at REA and I am not 100% sure where I read the home team name.

Alan
I don't know, from reading the REA description on the one, sounds like the Quicksteps were maybe from or playing in Bethlehem, PA:

"The white painted ball features a bluish-green shield design framing the black-painted lettering "DeAfrique/Bethlehem, Pa./54-10/July 24/1871." While we have not been able to find any specific information regarding the DeAfrique club, its very name leaves little doubt as to the ethnic makeup of the club. Incredibly, the game recorded on this ball is documented in the July 24, 1871, issue of the Bethlehem Daily Times newspaper. In the column headed "Baseball" the first entry reads "The Quicksteps will play the DeAfriques of this place, this afternoon."

https://robertedwardauctions.com/auc...ague-baseball/

Doesn't mention where the Mutuals are from, or who is the team from Allentown, PA. Hmmmmm.

Last edited by Shoeless Moe; 03-06-2021 at 09:28 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2021, 05:22 AM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Very nice ball.
Alan is correct however on the Mutuals. According to Orem, p.116-117, the national title Mutuals were playing the Olympics of Washington on September 3, 1870, winning 29-4.
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2021, 05:28 AM
aelefson aelefson is online now
Alan Elefson
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That was where I got the name from. My opinion is that the Quicksteps played in multiple towns in PA and they painted the ball with the name of the team they played that day and the town/city where they played. I did find reference to multiple Mutual clubs (beyond the well known one) but very little on the Quicksteps. My ball is from Allentown PA like yours. I wonder if the Quicksteps went by a different name. I will try to put together a list of the teams that appear on the trophy balls with this coloring as that might provide a lead to the definitive team name.

Alan

edited to include picture of mine
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Last edited by aelefson; 03-06-2021 at 05:34 AM. Reason: add picture
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2021, 05:45 AM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgar3 View Post
Very nice ball.
Alan is correct however on the Mutuals. According to Orem, p.116-117, the national title Mutuals were playing the Olympics of Washington on September 3, 1870, winning 29-4.
No, I wasn't referring to the Mutuals of NY, what I was referring to was the Quicksteps being the Mutuals.

What is Orem? A newspaper?

Can you find a newspaper from Allentown from Sept 3 1870 time frame, that maybe might give more info.?

Last edited by Shoeless Moe; 03-06-2021 at 09:27 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2021, 05:53 AM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aelefson View Post
That was where I got the name from. My opinion is that the Quicksteps played in multiple towns in PA and they painted the ball with the name of the team they played that day and the town/city where they played. I did find reference to multiple Mutual clubs (beyond the well known one) but very little on the Quicksteps. My ball is from Allentown PA like yours. I wonder if the Quicksteps went by a different name. I will try to put together a list of the teams that appear on the trophy balls with this coloring as that might provide a lead to the definitive team name.

Alan

edited to include picture of mine
Ahhhhhhhh, now I get what you are saying. That these trophy balls are from the Quicksteps and they wrote their opponents name on the ball. Got it. Interesting. Sorry I'm a little slow. Good info. keep researching please.

Just found this good article by Jay Caldwell on Trophy Balls, old and through the years:
https://negroleagueshistory.com/rich...-trophy-balls/

Last edited by Shoeless Moe; 03-06-2021 at 09:30 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2021, 05:59 AM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Sorry, showing my age by referencing Orem. Orem refers to Preston Orem, a great collector who compiled a History of Base Ball 1845-1881, with some supplements later. His history is taken from various newspaper accounts.
Self published in 1961, it is an excellent reference for that time period.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2021, 06:13 AM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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No problem. Appreciate any insight.

Any chance it was this club:

https://protoball.org/Quick_Step_Club_of_Cambria

or maybe the Wilmington QuickSteps:

https://books.google.com/books?id=rf...seball&f=false

Last edited by Shoeless Moe; 03-06-2021 at 06:16 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2021, 11:42 AM
eastonfalcon19 eastonfalcon19 is online now
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I found this one in an old auction catalog.
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Last edited by eastonfalcon19; 03-06-2021 at 11:42 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2021, 05:31 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Well.....if anyone is interested in it, as always, send a message, it's available. SOLD headed back out East and going to a great home, a 19th Century collector here.

Last edited by Shoeless Moe; 03-07-2021 at 02:38 PM.
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