Extremely rare CdV featuring the 1870 Athletics baseball club, one of the earliest baseball images featuring ten players including A.J. Reach. Reach, of course, besides being one of the early stars of the game and winner of the first professional baseball pennant with the 1871 Athletics, helped found the Philadelphia Philies and subsequently founded the Reach sporting goods company. One of the most significant of all 19th Century baseball CdVs, the design features nine portrait images in small ovals, surrounding a larger image of pitcher Dickie McBride, featured in the direct center of the piece. Other players featured on the CdV are George Bechtel, Thomas Berry, Wes Fisler, Fergy Malone, Tom Pratt, John Radcliff, Count Sensenderfer, and of course, A.J. Reach.
Produced by photographer John L. Gihon of Philadelphia, the 2 1/2" x 4 1/8" CdV has been graded FAIR 1.5 by SGC, due in large part to a small strip of paper loss on the reverse, along with some light soiling and surface indentations. The front of the piece boasts exceptional visual appeal, some light wear to the mount visible at the bottom right, none of which interfere with the clarity of the images themselves.
There are not a large number of different CdVs featuring important teams from before 1871. This is one of the most significant. Featuring the team that would win the very first baseball pennant, along with one of few period images of A.J. Reach on a card, a rarely-seen and highly prized card dating to the period before organized, professional baseball.