CLEVELAND, Ohio – A special piece of Cleveland baseball history is up for auction: A photograph of baseball great Ty Cobb wearing a Cleveland Naps uniform in a benefit game.
The eight-inch by 10-inch photo dates to a 1911 game for beloved Cleveland pitcher Addie Joss, who had died on April 14 that year. He was 31. The benefit game was held at League Park on July 24, 1911.
Bidding ends today – Sunday, Dec. 6 via Robert Edward Auctions.
Cobb is shown sliding into third base while Cleveland’s Terry Turner tries to make the tag. Action shots of Cobb are rare.
The league put regularly scheduled games on hold to stage the benefit, which featured the Naps against an assemblage of American League stars, which included Cobb. Walter Johnson, Sam Crawford, Frank Baker and Tris Speaker also participated. More than 15,000 fans turned out at League Park. Eight Hall of Famers played in the game, which raised almost $13,000.
Cobb’s Detroit uniform reportedly was lost. He also donated $100 for the benefit – a charitable act he tried to keep quiet but was persuaded to go public for the sake of publicity for the game. Joss was beloved – by those he played with and against, as well as his fans. In 1908, he threw a perfect game.
Bidding opened at $5,000. Friday night, the bidding stood at $7,000. Also up for auction: An Addie Joss Benefit Game panorama featuring the Naps and their All-Star rivals, including Joe Jackson, Cy Young, Sam Crawford, Nap Lajoie, Eddie Collins and others. The game was played 22 years before baseball’s inaugural All Star Game. The auction house says it is believed that the panoramic photos were issued to participating team members only, as well as a few team or league officials.
Bidding for the panorama begins at $10,000.
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