Masterpieces & Uncommon Commons XX
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/13/2009
Talk about rare! This incredible 1st generation photo measuring 4 “½” x 7 “¼” pictures the immortal Willie Mays in a Cuban League Almendares uniform. Say what? In the fall/winter of 1950, the “Say Hey Kid” signed a contract to play Cuban baseball with their Almendares team. At that time, May’s was under contract to play for The New York Giants commencing in the spring of 1951. When the Giants learned of Willie’s intentions they forbid him to play any Cuban League games, citing this to be a breach of his Major League contract. Eventually, Mays had to return to the States, having never played a game in Cuba. However, while he didn’t officially play, fortunately for rare photo collectors, he did suit up in the Almendares uniform. This Beckett encapsulated news photo of Willie Mays portrays him in his Cuban League Almendares uniform, and just may be Willies most obscure memorabilia artifact. Hall of Famer Willie Mays is currently the greatest living ballplayer, and arguably, the best “5 tool” player in baseball history. This spectacular remnant preceding his major League playing days, while almost 60 years old, has managed to retain most of its original luster. The black & white contrast is perfect with four relatively square corners and sharp edging providing a strong photo perimeter. Only a few moderate corner wrinkles and some natural wear/toning near the top left border remove this photo from its original state. The reverse side includes a small newspaper clipping depicted in Cuban dialect with the standard photo pencil notations such as “Willie Mays Photo” and “Centerfielder”. For the eclectic enthusiast, it doesn’t get better than this. How many Willie Mays Cuban League photos exist today? We’ve never seen another one, and this may be the last opportunity to capture a museum worthy relic with incomparable historical content of the “Say Hey Kid”!
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