Amazing Tim Keefe Signed Document Relating to 1890 Brotherhood Park Construction Costs – Full PSA/DNA LOA
Memory Lane's remarkable 1890 Players' League Winter Auction offered some of the rarest 19th century baseball Hall of Fame autographs including documents signed by Tim Keefe, John Montgomery Ward and Buck Ewing. With regard to Keefe, we specifically noted that there would be several other Keefe signatures offered in our upcoming 2018 auctions, with one of them presented here on this Patterson, Jordan & Gottfried Company Invoice relating to Brotherhood Park construction costs. Indeed, before the incredible Players' League find, locating a Tim Keefe autograph was a nearly impossible task, substantiated by the fact that only a couple of his hallowed scripts had been previously known. The six Tim Keefe signatures included in this find (one of which was included on a stock document with Buck Ewing that sold for $50K) were obviously tied to his position as one of two player representatives to the New York Limited Board of Directors (along with Buck Ewing).
A major stockholder, iconic right-handed twirler Tim Keefe signed off on various Brotherhood Park construction invoices, along with N.Y. Limited Secretary Edward Talcott. Every sophisticated baseball autograph collector is well aware of the near-impossible task of capturing a Tim Keefe script, with his legendary standing as one of our National Pastime's greatest pitchers ever supported by his 342 lifetime wins and scintillating 2.63 lifetime E.R.A. Nicknamed "Sir Timothy" and "Smiling Tim", those 343 victories place him 10th on baseball's all-time list, and along with Kid Nichols, he is arguably considered the finest of all 19th century pitchers. The right-handed hurler's seemingly "rubber arm" enabled him to once to win both games of a doubleheader in 1883, including a one-hitter in the morning and a two-hitter in the afternoon! As an irrefutable testament to his unparalleled durability, of his 594 career starts, 554 of a staggering 93% resulted in complete games, a far cry from 21st century pitchers who now seem fortunate to toss 7 innings.
His greatest season was arguably in 1888 when he claimed pitching's "Triple Crown", winning 35 games, striking out 335 batters and posting a microscopic 1.74 E.R.A. Multiple times he achieved 40 wins or better, and he arguably had the finest change-up of all 19th century twirlers. Like Buck Ewing, his major league career commenced with the Troy Haymakers in 1880, moved on to the New York Metropolitans in 1883, and joined the New York Gothams (Giants) in 1885. He would spend virtually the remainder of his playing days with the New York Giants, save his single 1890 Player's League stint with the likewise New York Giants PL based club, and a final fling with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1891 thru 1893 where he ended his stellar career. It is therefore no surprise that many elite enthusiasts relentlessly seek Tim Keefe's elusive autograph.
Courtesy of this world-class discovery that previous "dream" continues to be a reality, with his ultra-scarce script affixed to this "Patterson, Jordan & Gottfried Company" invoice directly beneath Edward Talcott's signature in the lower left quadrant. Presenting itself in super bold black fountain pen, the exceptionally large "T.J. Keefe" signature portrays solid 8/9 strength and has been deemed authentic by the prestigious PSA/DNA authentication company (a full PSA LOA is included). This particular company handled Iron Work for the Brotherhood Park's grandstands, with the $1,893.43 invoice approved for payment by both Keefe and Talcott on April 8, 1890. The invoice reads as follows: "Pay to the order of Patterson, Gottfried & Hunter Limited, Eighteen Hundred Ninety Three & 43/100 Dollars ($1,893 43/100) for Iron Work, etc. in original contract for Grand Stand ...".
Even more impressive is the fact that it has defied "Father Time", retaining a majority of its original imposing ink quality over the past 128 years. One of the Tim Keefe autographs sold for $18,000 in our winter auction and while it was equally bold, its overall size did not measure up to the imposing dimensions of this amazing script. Simply stated, capturing any Tim Keefe autograph is synonymous to the iconic expression of "finding a needle in a haystack", justifying why the irrefutable paucity level of this super-sized T.J. Keefe signature places it as a world-class artifact! - FULL PSA/DNA LOA
MIN BID $5,000