Documents Relating to "The Strange Tale" of the Cincinnati Ball Club
As mentioned in the background summary section at the start of this auction, following the 1889 season and in an attempt to strengthen itself, the National League added the Cincinnati club to its' league. Meanwhile, the weakest team within the Players' League was the Buffalo franchise. Following the 1890 season, a season in which the Buffalo Bisons had finished in last place with a 36-96 record, it was ultimately decided amongst the Players' League hierarchy that the Buffalo franchise needed to be replaced. In the last major victory for the Players' League, on October 4, 1890, a group of Players' League backers purchased the Cincinnati club from Aaron Stern and Harry Sterne for $40,000.
Stern, long active in Cincinnati baseball, was also co-owner of a large clothing store in Cincinnati. The two hand-written documents (both dated October 4, 1890) reflect the typical three mailing folds; scripted in black fountain pen with the Aaron Stern and Harry Sterne signatures boldly affixed to each letter's lower right quadrants. The purchasers include F. H. Brunell (Secretary-Treasurer of the Player's League), E B Talcott, Albert L Johnson, and John Ward. Unfortunately for the purchasers, the Players' League folded before Cincinnati could ever play a single League game, with the Reds ending up in a quagmire of ownership claims following the demise of the Players' League.
In addition to the historically significant 1890 sale document, this lot also contains several miscellaneous documents relating to these claims. As an aftermath to this predicament, when the dust eventually settled, Cincinnati ended up returning to the National League for the 1891 season.
MIN BID $2,000