Documents relating to the 1890s Players’ League, which were part of “The Northeast Find,” sold for a little more than $136,000. The items were sold in 17 different lots in a recent auction hosted by Memory Lane Inc.
The documents were originally rescued from a dilapidated building in upstate New York in the 1990s.
The featured lot of the auction included a document requesting a special stakeholder meeting that was signed by both Tim Keefe and Buck Ewing. Keefe and Ewing autographs are extremely rare by themselves, let alone both signatures on one document. The document sold for a final price of $50,400.
A single Keefe autograph on a document relating to Brotherhood Park construction costs sold for $18,000.
Another Keefe signed document, this one regarding the Polo Grounds construction costs, sold for $10,890.
A telegram relating to the Brotherhood Park construction costs signed by Ewing sold for $14,400.
Two separate lots that included documents signed by John Montgomery Ward were also sold in the auction. The first was a receipt for the printing of 400 player contracts. This receipt sold for $11,297.
The second was a Montgomery Ward handwritten document to Henry Bacon, dated Dec. 31, 1889. This document sold for $10,628.
Other documents from the find that sold included:
• Document relating to the merger of the New York Players’ League and National League Giants – $4,676
• Players’ League Articles of Agreement draft – $2,889
• Lease of land to build Brotherhood Park – $2,400
• Documents relating to “The Strange Tale” of the Cincinnati ball club – $2,400
• Players’ League Constitution draft – $2,395
• Players’ League By-Laws draft – $2,178
• Resignation of the New York club from the Players’ League – $1,715
• NY Limited By-Laws & document from the NY Secretary of State – $726
• Surety bond put up by Cleveland organization and blank surety bond form – $600
• Pittsburgh club surety bond – $600
• Buffalo club surety bond – $600