Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons LXXIV
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/30/2018
Rose Company Postcards represent one of the most visually captivating issues ever produced, as well as a direct reflection of the heroic qualities the nation bestowed upon baseball players during professional baseball’s developmental period.

These treasured offerings from the first decade of the twentieth century appear not in standard caramel or tobacco sized increments, but in the form of fully mailable postcards. Issued in 1908 and 1909 by the Rose Company, these beautifully crafted, colorful and ornate antiquities epitomize the American love affair with baseball during The Dead Ball Era. Players are heroically portrayed in an embossed gold frame surrounded by baseball details across a peaceful green background, capturing America’s vision of a pastoral game played within city walls.

The Ultimate Card From Christy Mathewson’s Greatest Season

The year Rose Company debuted their postcards, 1908, just happened to coincide with what is still considered the closest, most dramatic pennant races of all time, in each league. The pennant race was a photo finish with multiple teams fighting for the flag until the final day of the season, accompanied by many of the greatest individual performances on record, most notably by pitchers. In the American League, Ed Walsh became the last man in baseball history to win 40 games in a season, while pitching over 400 innings, as his White Sox fell just short of Ty Cobb’s Tigers for the A.L. Crown. Detroit finished a half-game ahead of Cleveland and a game and a half ahead of the White Sox. But it was Mathewson, in the National League, who stole the show, turning in his greatest season and perhaps the greatest single season a pitcher has ever assembled.

With one game left in the 1908 season, the makeup game to rectify the Merkle Game between the Cubs and Giants which was ruled a tie, the Giants and Cubs were knotted for first with the Pirates trailing by a half game game. In a final game showdown, the Cubs and Giants squared off before 40,000 fans at the Polo Grounds. Cubs hurler Mordecai Brown bested Mathewson and the Giants for a 4-2 win, as they went on to become the first team in history to win back-to-back World Series crowns. Before the game, Mathewson, who had carried the Giants through the final weeks of the season, admitted to John McGraw before the game that he shouldn’t pitch, telling the Manager, “I’m not fit to pitch today. I’m dog tired.”

Despite losing the final game of the season, Mathewson carried the Giants throughout the campaign, accounting for 37 of the team’s 98 wins, while posting a scorching 1.43 ERA. The Hall of Fame righthander’s numbers for 1908 read like something from a video game, including 56 appearances, 46 starts, 34 complete games, 11 shutouts, 5 saves, 390 2/3 innings pitched, 259 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.827, all NL highs.

An Amazing Card That Shows Above Grade

While grading a VG+ 3.5, this tremendous Mathewson example shows far above grade. The card’s face is pure and clean, with minimal handling. The corners have touches but lack severe rounding. For a card that’s 110 year’s old, it’s hard to imagine a better looking example.
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1908-09 Rose Co. Postcards Christy Mathewson SGC 3.5 VG+

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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $8,493.60
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Friday, March 30, 2018.
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