Ultra-Rare & Original c.1914/'15 St. Louis Terriers Federal League Panorama Harris Bros. Co. Photographer stamp on Back - Measures Approx. 10" x 26"!
Strikingly similar to the players' revolt against the owners "Reserve Clause" leading to the legendary 1890 Player's League, in 1914, an additional MLB organization dubbed the Federal League was founded by John T. Powers. This upstart league would include eight teams from Indianapolis, Chicago, Baltimore, Buffalo, Brooklyn, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, with the latter "Gateway to the West" St. Louis Terrier club joining the Cardinals and Browns as the third St. Louis MLB ballclub. While a hoard of players jumped ship from both the National and American Leagues to secure sizable contracts, the Federal League would unfortunately disband after only two seasons (1914-15) due to serious financial issues as well as four of the Federal League teams owners being bought-out by N.L. and A.L. owners.
Synonymous to the 1890 Player's League, once again the Reserve Clause would remain intact until after the 1974 campaign when the Free Agency "floodgates" would open, changing our National Pastime forever. Regarding collectibles from the Federal League, remaining artifacts are few and far between, justifying why this c.1914 St. Louis Terriers ORIGINAL 10" x 26" panorama stands as one of the most miraculous images extant! Including 19 players (as well as two additional gentlemen in formal attire), it has miraculously survived the past 107 years to retain a majority of its original photo quality. Issued by the popular Harris Bros. Co. Photographic Studio on heavy paper stock, the black & white image reveals super clarity and has eluded any glaring flaws, with a majority of the stray wrinkles/creases situated along the outer edge.
Some diminutive scattered soiling spots exist (barely visible to the naked eye), and the verso includes the critical Harris Bros. Co. violet credit stamp near the lower right corner as well as several heavily toned areas. Much to our chagrin, neither Mordecai Brown (1914) or Eddie Plank (1915) appear on the image, despite both of those two immortal Hall of Fame twirlers "jumping ship" to play with the Terriers. While we haven't been able to identify a number of the players, some of the recognizable players include: Al Bridwell (7th from the right); pitching aces Doc Crandall (8th from the left) and 6' 6" Dave Davenport (dead-center/11th from left or right); Ward Miller (1st on the left); Ernie Herbet (6th from the left) and Jack Tobin (6th from the right). Of utmost significance is the possible identification of catcher Mike Simon (4th from the left) with his large period-style catcher's mitt situated directly behind him.
The Terrier's main backstop, Simon only played for St. Louis in 1914, replaced by catcher Grover Hartley for the 1915 campaign. This certainly leads us to believe this panorama was most likely taken during the 1914 campaign, assuming that the 4th player from the left is indeed Mike Simon. Regarding that bygone 1914 season, the Terriers would finish in last place with a dismal 62-89 record, some 25 games behind the league-winning Indianapolis Hoosiers. However, in 1915, led by 20+ game winners Crandall and Davenport, the Terriers would do a full "180-degree" turnaround by winning 87 games and finishing only a single percentage point behind the pennant winning Chicago Whales. One of the most formidable Federal League heirlooms we have ever come across, it conjures up vivid memories of this historically significant league that once again tested baseball ownership for a player's right to "move-on" to other ballclubs, challenging the "Reserve Clause" that ultimately handcuffed players for over a century of time!
MIN BID $500