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Flushed with victory after winning the Navy baseball championship in December 1897, the players and coaches of the battleship USS Maine's baseball team, with their pet goat mascot, posed for this group shot, unaware of their tragic fate. Of note is the fact that the star of the team was a black man named William Lambert, situated far right in the back row, a pitcher described by a shipmate as "a master of speed, curves and control." Only two months later, on February 15, 1898, all but one of these men died when the Maine exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, killing 260 of the ship's crew and sparking the Spanish-American War. Sadly, one of the victims, C.H. Newton, had sounded taps for the crew only moments before the disaster. 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 sepia-toned, EX-MT.
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