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1867

1867 "ULYSSES" Base Ball Club Honorary Membership & Resolution Named for Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant (3)

This is unlike anything we have seen before. First, the team "Ulysses" is named after Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, who won the Civil War for the North a scant two years previous. Plus, the location of the team is Washington, D.C, only adding to the patriotic element and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Second, the piece dates from 1867 which predates the major league game by nearly a full decade (1876) and predates the professional game in Cincinnati with the Red Stockings. Third, pre-1876 is the barometer for pieces that have an undeniably important impact and true rarity so anything pre-1876 is significantly important to begin with. There are three pieces in this collection: 1) Cover letter dated October 21, 1867, addressed from the Ulysses Club of Washington DC to George M. Wood of Philadelphia. The fact that both are major U.S. cities and a long distance form one another means that Ulysses was a high level team for the times. This is also borne out by the simple high-quality and expense of these documents. Sent from Secretary S.P. Wrisley, "transmitting herewith a "Certificate of Honorary Membership." On the verso, "Acknowledgement of Accompanying Certificate" is dated October 26, 1867 presumably in George M. Wood's own hand. 2) Resolution itself is topped by a full color, hand-painted, watercolor logo of the club with unusual logo of the initials "U.B.B.C." This is a big deal for the time. It one of the earliest if not THE earliest true baseball logos produced. Dated April 4, 1867, it reads, "This is to certify that in accordance with the Resolution of April 4, 1867 of the Ulysses Base Ball Club of Washington, D.C. GEORGE M. WOOD is declared an HONORARY MEMBER..." It is signed by Club President George E. Kott and by the Secretary S.P. Wrisley. All is in hand calligraphy with the name of the club, name and "Honorary Member" done in the finest of colored ink. 3) Original envelope addressed to Wood by the Secretary with the postage stamp removed and partial "October" postmark. Overall EX. A truly important 19th century baseball piece that perfectly represents the roots of our National Pastime.


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