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1878 Cincinnati Red Stockings Baseball Association Stock Certificate

1878 Cincinnati Red Stockings Baseball Association Stock Certificate

This incredible document is the earliest stock certificate known, a Capital Stock certificate which appropriated the President of the Cincinnati Baseball Club, J.M.W. Neff to six shares of the Cincinnati Baseball Club Association at $500 per share. The Cincinnati Baseball Club had just put president, J.M. Wayne Neff in full charge of the club one month previous to the signing of this certificate. It was decided at that time that there would be no manager, just a captain from among the players. Neff, once a player on the Red Stockings (1860’s) was the Reds owner who guided the team through the stormy waters of franchise foldings in the National League (St.Louis, Louisville and Hartford, Conn.), remaking the face of the team and finishing a strong second to the Boston Red Stockings, led by former Cincinnati captain Harry Wright. He is also credited with inciting the league's Reserve Clause, as player's salaries were escalating. Certificate bears the raised seal of the Cincinnati Baseball club and the fountain ink signature of “J.M.W. Neff”, three times (twice on the printed side of document and once on the verso. Signatures grade strong “9”. Document is partially filled out in black fountain pen with the date, March 6, 1878. Original folds, otherwise EX. Measures 9.75x6.5”.


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