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Some very ardent supporters of the Cincinnati Reds during their early years as baseball’s first pro team formed the Knights of the Red Stockings, a sort of fan club/fraternal organization. Helping celebrate the city’s centennial in 1876, it awarded this “Proclamation” to Edward Townley, one of the team’s founders and its treasurer in the pro debut year of 1869, naming him “Knight Banner.” The incredibly rare document is a hoot, signed “by order of Cincinnatus, Earl, Grand Marshal of the Kingdom” (who may be related to Morris Fink, grand high exalted mystic ruler of the Racoons), given under seal of “our Palace of Mirth and Pleasure.” Another mysterious signature is that of, simply, “Rex.” Proclamation has a great seal/ribbon and an illustration of a pig and donkey marching band with a drum reading “Cincinnati 1876.” 11 x 17” document is EX-MT with some mild foxing of the edges and mailing folds, and comes with the original envelope addressed to Townley, which has the same marching band motif and “On His Majesty’s Secret Service” and “Department of War” printed on it. LOA from Townley’s great grandson.
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