Love of the Game Auctions Fall, 2018 Catalog

now on exhibition in Ike Bedicheimer’s window. It is one of the finest specimens of the jeweler’s art.” The following month, however, Spor ting Life wrot e “What’s the matter with Stovey’s beautiful medal? It was originally to have been presented to him during the recent St. Louis series.” No indication was given for the delay, or even for the reason for the medal’s presentation. The October 19 Sporti ng Life chroni cled “At last Harry Stovey has that beautiful medal, but he had to wait until the very last championship game of the season. Billy Hamilton made the presentation in a neat speech, and never flinched when the crowd yelled “Who is that man?” After receiving the medal Stovey, instead of striking out, made a base hit, contrary to the usual custom in such cases.” Hamilton could potentially be “sliding” Billy Hamilton, who was, in 1887, playing in the New England League, still two years away from his American Association debut. Regardless, we believe this to be the medal referred to in all the Sporting Lif e articles thr oughout the late summer of 1887. Measuring 2” x 3”, the medal is extremely ornate with significant detail, depicting a baseball player standing at home plate, set against a blue background and encircled in a wreath of gold. Attached to the top of the medal is a golden eagle, holding a banner with Stovey’s name engraved in the ribbon. The engraving in the reverse reads “Presented to Harry D. Stovey by his friends of the Athletic BB Club Oct 1887.” The stunning medal is one of the oldest andmost significant we have seen, still clean and intact, with some wear evident in the form of mild scratches consistent with age. A patina encircles the engraving on the reverse, resembling a stain of some sort. Harry Stovey was a well-liked player who was a star in his era. His on-field accomplishments are long-forgotten, but he is often considered one of the great non-Hall of Famers, and at the top of the list of 19th Century players worthy of inclusion. Unlike many similar awards that were given to players by admiring fans as tributes, this badge was given to Stovey by his teammates, the ultimate tribute to how beloved and admired he was. Like all the Stovey material in this auction, this medal was passed down through his family until it was obtained by our consignor, a longtime collector. The medal has remained in his possession since he purchased it in the 1980s. An extremely significant piece, an elegant and ornate medal given to one of the era’s greatest players by his teammates. MINIMUM BID: $2,000.00

32 Harry Stovey’s 1887 Philadelphia Athletics Award Badge Presented By His Teammates! By 1887, Harry Stovey was a bona-fide star, captain of his team and one of

the greatest players of his era. A wizard with the bat and on the basepaths, he stole 74 bases in 1887, with a .365 on base percentage and 125 runs scored. Late in the season, the sports pages began writing about Stovey’s popularity, and hinting at a medal that he would be given. The August 24 edition of Sporting Life stated “Stovey will be the recipient of the most beautiful and costly medal ever given any player when the club returns from the West. He has more substantial, firm friends in this city than he thinks.” The following week’s issue hinted further: “The beautiful badge to be given to Captain Stovey is

Fall 2018 Premier Auction – Closes November 24, 2018


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