Robert Edward Auctions is honored to announce that the Spring Auction currently being assembled will include the extraordinary Negro League collection of Jeff Eastland. This collection represents the single largest and most important selection of vintage Negro League materials ever presented at one time for public auction.
Jeff Eastland is well known to many serious hobbyists as a "collector's collector," one of the hobby's true historians, and as much a scholar as a collector. Jeff has spent the last 15 years studying and collecting photographs and artifacts from the Negro Leagues. An active member of the Negro League Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research, he sought to assemble a concise collection that told the history of professional black baseball during the period of time in that black players were shamefully denied access to the major leagues. Jeff was a pioneer in this field. He obtained items from many sources, both within and outside of the organized hobby, including many items directly from family members of the players.
This Eastland Collection includes all of the key stars of the Negro Leagues, including all 18 players currently enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as all players currently under consideration for induction. Virtually all of the most significant legendary Negro League teams are also represented, including the Philadelphia Giants, New York Lincoln Giants, American Giants, Hilldale, Kansas City Monarchs, Homestead Grays, Pittsburg Crawfords, and Ciudad Trujillo.
Sept. 11, 1943 Josh Gibson photograph. "Josh the Basher" photo by Wright and Riley of Washington D.C. captures Negro League legend Josh Gibson on a special recognition day where Gibson was presented with luggage, a flower arrangement, and an oversized bat. Gibson's feats are legendary, almost mythical. Often refered to as "The Black Babe Ruth," Gibson is credited with 962 lifetime home runs against all levels of competition. Records show Gibson hit .354 lifetime in the Negro Leagues, .373 in Mexico, .353 in Cuba, .412 vs. major leaguers, and .479 in Puerto Rico. Josh received the nickname "Josh the Basher" while producing record setting home run totals while playing in Mexico. Following WWII there was a significant decline in his health and abilities. He suffered a nervous breakdown and personal problems from excessive drinking. He died in 1947 at the age of 35. Gibson was the elected to the Hall of Fame (along with Gray's teammate Buck Leonard) in 1972. From the archives of the Baltimore Afro-American. 5 ½ x 8 inches.
1922 Championship Game Panorama Photo between Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants and the Kansas City Monarchs at Schorling Park in Chicago. This is the only known example of this panoramic display photograph, and one of the few Negro League game-in-progress panoramics in existence. The photo is captioned "Rube Foster's American Giants crush the Kansas City Monarchs 5-4 in 10 innings with the great Rogan pitching." Foster's Giants were the unofficial champions the first three years of the league, 1920-22. The first official Negro League World Series didn't start until 1924. 32 x 9 inches.
Oct. 8, 1925 Panorama Photograph of the 2nd Colored World Series. Photo by Harold Stott of Phila. Game 5 of the series, photo is taken at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia. Kansas City Monarchs vs. Hilldale. Hilldale won this game 2-1, and also won the entire best of nine game series, 5 games to 1. One of only two examples known. Photograph includes HOFers Judy Johnson for Hilldale, and team owner Rube Foster with other league owners in center. Foster was the founder and father of the organized Negro Leagues. He died in 1930 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981. All players identified. This is one of the centerpieces of the collection, and is the plate specimen example featured on the title page of the SABR Negro Leagues book. 33 ½ x 6 ½ inches.