1866-67 Notre Dame Albumen Photograph w/14-Year Old Cap Anson
One of the most thrilling finds of 2019, discovered in an estate sale in East Brookfield, Illinois. The albumen (approx. 6.5x8.5") shows a 14-year old Hall of Famer Cap Anson as a member of the Notre Dame "Star of the West" baseball team. Notre Dame took all grads at that time. Spitting image of a young Adrian Anson in a baseball uniform with "3B" in pencil on chest. Above is a "2" as he was on the second team because he was so young. Photo is undoubtedly of Anson, when compared to the youngest known image of Anson. The shape of the ears, hair line and head shape is accurate to a tee. The most incredible thing is not only is it an image this early of one of the greatest players of the 19th century, but it is also in a baseball uniform. Interesting he is playing third base, which was his father's position, a ballplayer in his own right. Anson's first touch with baseball glory was a member (along with his father and brother) of the local team, where they won the championship right before leaving for ND. He was sent to their high school and boarding school by his father to curtail his mischievousness. It didn't take, perhaps the reason he only made the 2nd team at Notre Dame. Anson was a first baseman, manager, and minority owner of the Chicago White Stockings, forerunners of the Chicago Cubs, and Anson led the White Stockings to five National League pennants in the 1880s. He is also remembered for his role in baseball segregation for his refusal to play exhibition games against dark-skinned players, which paved the way for the Major League "color line," not broken until Jackie Robinson in 1947. This photo is originally from the collection of Mark M. Foote, a member of the class of 1873. It is unknown whether he is pictured in the photo or was a member of the team. He was connected strongly to the university, all the way into the 1910s based on documents in the collection. At the bottom in vintage pencil is written, "Stars of the West B.B.C of 1866-67 at Notre Dame University... (Manager, the only adult and Brother of the order)." The manager in the center is Brother Flosentius. Ironically both Cap Anson and Babe Ruth were influenced by Catholic Brothers (Ruth: Brother Gilbert at St. Mary's). Jno. Flanigen - Pres. Tho. Dupuis - V. Pres. Jno. Hayes - Sect. Frank Teats - Treas. There are symbols to identify the "officers." Image is exceptional with excellent contrast. There is severe chipping to edges which affects photo only on the right edge.
Recently discovered in an estate sale in Brookfield, IL, one of the thrilling finds of 2019. The collection of Mark N. Foote, class of 1873 Notre Dame graduate, this includes the earliest known image of Cap Anson in a baseball uniform. Acknowledged as the greatest player of the 19th century, despite his racial intolerance, which led to the color line being established in the 20th century. Anson’s father sent his son Adrian to the high school at Notre Dame in 1866 thru 1888. These pieces are not only valued for the Cap Anson connection but for their historical context for one of America’s great educational institutes.