Remarkable 1918 World Series official program issued for a game between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park. Programs from the 1918 World Series, whether they be for Fenway Park or Wrigley Field, are among the most rare of all World Series programs and virtually never become available at public auction. Speculation is that fewer than a dozen examples are known.
The program originates from the memorabilia amassed by former player, manager and scout Bill Skiff. Though Skiff's major league record would include just 58 at bats in two seasons, his career in the game lasted nearly six decades. In 1918, he was a 22-year-old catcher with the Bridgeport (CT) Americans of the Eastern League, in reasonable proximity to Boston, ostensibly enabling him to attend at least one of the three Fenway games, en route to a Boston victory in six contests. The program remained with his career-spanning collection of memorabilia for more than 100 years until being consigned to Love of the Game earlier this year.
A modest publication resembling the regular-season scorecards of 1918, the program is delicate and brittle. It is speculated by some that the unassuming format of the 1918 World Series programs was related to wartime austerity measures (the Wrigley program is similarly modest), the lightweight paper resulting in condition sensitivity that is responsible for its current rarity. It is equally likely that wartime conservation played a role, as did the relatively low attendance numbers of each game. Regardless of the reason, a 1918 World Series program is always one of the impediments to building a complete run of World Series programs, due to its extreme rarity.
Though this example presents well, the condition is likely POOR, primarily due to significant separation at the spine. Edge wear is visible, particularly along the right, where a few tears and bits of paper loss have been repaired with a strip of clear tape applied to the inside cover. Similar tape adorns the spine area at the inside cover, helping keep the cover attached. Additional staining and edge tears are evident upon inspection. A small and light pencil scribble is visible on the cover, underneath "Fenway Park." The back cover has also separated from the staples, with some light staining on the reverse. The game has not been scored, and the interior pages, though also separating from the spine, are clean.
An extremely rare program, new to the hobby, consigned from the collection of its original owner.