Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLI
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/21/2012
“It’s great to be young and a Giant.”
If the great John McGraw could have concocted a witch’s potion to create the model infielder for his Giants, he could never have dreamed of a second baseman better than “Laughing Larry” Doyle.
Doyle broke in with the Giants in 1907 and McGraw immediately recognized his potential. The young Caseyville, Illinois native became the roommate of Christy Mathewson at McGraw’s suggestion so the youngster could learn how to be a big leaguer both on and off the diamond. Doyle responded with his first .300 season in 1908, a season that saw him named Giants team captain, while placing third in the National League batting race.
Doyle’s greatest single season was without question, 1912. The Giant great hit a career high .330 and won the Chalmers Award as the NL MVP. That same season, the second sacker paced the league in hits with 189 and doubles with 40.
Not known as a power hitter, amassing only 74 career roundtrippers, Doyle will always be remembered as the first hitter to ever hit a ball out of the cavernous Polo Grounds, accomplishing the feat in 1913.
Playing on three consecutive pennant winners from 1911-1913, Doyle was considered the NL’s premier second baseman during the first half of the decade of the teens. Always a threat on the bases, Doyle served as a table-setter for his Giant teammates, stealing 300 bases in his career.
After baseball, Doyle contracted tuberculosis in 1942 and was admitted to the Trudeau Sanitorium in Saranac Lake, New York. When the institution was forced to close its doors thanks to medical breakthroughs to cure TB, Doyle was the last resident to leave the facility. Life Magazine photographers documented the former Giant’s last meal and his departure, on foot, from Trudeau. He never left Saranac Lake and called the village his home until his death in 1974 at the age of 87.
The Drum example of this amazing player’s T206 from baseball’s formative early years is a treasure not to be denied. A true 1 of 1, the probability of another Drum backed Doyle is virtually non-existent. So make this treasure your own. And remember the man who will forever be “young and a Giant” to the world.
POP REPORT: Only graded example. 1 of 1.
Some content courtesy of Charlotte Observer
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