2019 Winter Auction Closing March 2
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/2/2019

The dawn of baseball herstory can be traced to Vassar College in 1866, when two women's teams known as the Laurels and the Abenakis began to compete. Some historians contend that the 1867 Philadelphia Dolly Vardens, an all-black women's club, may actually have been the first-ever paid ballplayers—preceding the initial male professionals of the Cincinnati Red Stockings by two years. Nevertheless, an 1875 contest between the so-called Blondes and Brunettes in Springfield, Illinois, is widely held to be the first women's game in which spectators were charged an entrance fee and players were financially compensated. Women continued to field barnstorming teams in the late 1870s and 1880s, with the squads generally being short-lived and composed of upper-crust, leisure-class players, such as the batswoman featured here. An acronym on her brimmed hat reads, "LABBC" (presumably, "L" for "Ladies," "A" for a place name, and "BBC" for "Base Ball Club"). She holds a ball in one hand and a bat in the other. Tintypes with these decorative hinged "Union cases" were produced throughout the second half of the 19th century. The two factors that situate this particular 1/6-plate tin (2-1/2" x 3") comfortably in the 1870s-1880s period are, first, the aforementioned timeline, and second, the woman's floor-length dress. By 1890, lady ballplayers had eschewed such restrictive raiment for Amelia Bloomer's newfangled loose trousers, and "Bloomer Girls" baseball teams (open to the working-class, now) suddenly started popping up all over the country. To put the herstorical significance of this tintype in context, we are aware of only one other pre-Bloomer women's-baseball-related photograph—a famous 1876 picture of the Vassar Resolutes—and not a single image anywhere that conclusively pre-dates this stunning, Mint-condition example. 

1870s-1880s "LABBC" Female Baseball Player Tintype - Earliest Known Example
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,400.00
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
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