Amazing Tim Keefe Signed Document Relating to 1890 Brotherhood Park Construction Costs – Full PSA/DNA LOA
Memory Lane's spectacular 1890 Players' League 2017 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 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 "dream" is now a reality, with his ultra-scarce "T.J. Keefe" script affixed to this "Patterson, Gottfried & Hunter" invoice directly beneath Edward Talcott's signature near the central right edge.
Presenting itself in extremely bold black fountain pen, the imposing "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 $700.00 invoice originally dated March 12, 1890 (upper right quadrant), and apparently paid in full on April 8, 1890. Extremely impressive is the fact that the Keefe and Talcott autographs have defied "Father Time", retaining a majority of its original imposing ink quality over the past 129 years. While the upper third of the invoice has been detached from the lower portion, the separation has zero negative impact on the critical Keefe signature that safely resides at a considerable distance from the detached area. Most significantly, capturing any Tim Keefe autograph is synonymous to the iconic expression of "finding a needle in a haystack", justifying why the unquestionable scarcity of this boldly scripted T.J. Keefe signature places it in a league of its own with the most advanced autograph enthusiasts! - FULL PSA/DNA LOA
MIN BID $2,500