Born in Sheffield, England on January 10, 1835 Harry Wright became the father of professional baseball. At the age of 14 Wright dropped out of school and became a professional cricket player.
He was playing cricket at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey when he saw his first baseball game. Wright developed a fascination with the New York Knickerbockers and joined the team in the 1860s. Soon he became their first openly-professional player.
After the Civil War Wright switched his allegiances to the Cincinnati team and set out to assemble the best baseball team in America. That took money. With financial backers in his corner, Wright had the game’s first professional team.
The best player on Wright’s team was the shortstop, his brother George. In 1869, his Cincinnati Red Stockings played 57 games without a loss. The next year other teams better competed with Cincinnati and the Red Stockings were disbanded.
Harry and George moved to Boston and created a new version of the Red Stockings that competed in the National Association. Harry played from 1871-1877 and managed until 1893. His teams won six league championships.
For his efforts, Wright was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.
In the collection is the autograph of Harry Wright, the founder of the first professional baseball team. By virtue of his death on October 3, 1895, Wright’s signature remains on the want list of many advanced collectors.
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