I just heard on National Public Radio this morning that a man named Floyd Hartford found an original photo of the 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics in an old photo album that he’d bought at a garage sale in Baileyville, Maine.
The card was sold at auction for $80,000. The story on the NPR website says that a Massachussets man bought the card “as an investment for his four-year old son who has medical issues.”
The card is one of two known in existence although it seems in fact that it is, in fact, slightly different from the other known version, which is owned by the Library of Congress. The representative of the auction house that sold the card believes that the two images could be used in a stereopticon, for a 3-d view of the team.
Below, the Library of Congress version:
And here is the card found at the garage sale:
The Brooklyn Atlantics were baseball’s first championship team, and one of the founding members of the National Association of Base Ball Players, in 1857. The Atlantics went undefeated in 1865, with an 18-0 record. One of the key players on the team was Dickey Pearce, who played and in some ways “invented” the position of shortstop, and also invented the “tricky hit,” aka the bunt. He’s third from the left.