Original cabinet-card photograph capturing Hall of Fame first baseman Dan Brouthers in a formal studio setting. Produced by the Randall Photography Studio of Detroit, Michigan, as noted on the front base. The white printed lettering on Brouthers' image reads "Brouthers/Buffalo." This is the only example of this Dan Brouthers cabinet photo we have ever seen and it may be the lone survivor. Brouthers was a member of the Buffalo Bisons from 1881 to 1885 before joining the Detroit Wolverines in 1886, where he helped lead the club to a World Championship in 1887.
This piece originates from an extraordinary unprecedented find of early baseball photographs recently discovered in a nineteenth-century photo album, all of which are offered in this auction. Included in the album were team-composite CDVs for seven of the nine founding members of the 1871 National Association, baseball's first professional league, plus individual portrait images of many of the game's earliest stars. Original baseball photos dating from the 1870s are exceedingly rare and for many of the players represented in this collection their offered photo is not only the first such example we have handled, but in many cases, the only one we have ever seen. While the history of the album is unknown (our consignor purchased it from an antique dealer), since nearly all the photos found in the album are of ball clubs or ballplayers from the early 1870s, it most likely belonged to a former player or perhaps a National Association team executive.
Dan Brouthers was arguably the greatest hitter of his era and one of the nineteenth century's top sluggers. Brouthers began his Major League career in 1879 with the Troy Trojans, but it was in 1881, with Buffalo, that he became a star. From 1881 to 1894 Brouthers batted over .300 in every season and won five batting titles (four in the National League and one in the American Association). He also led the National League in home runs and RBI on two separate occasions, and drove in over 100 runs six times. He finished his career with 107 home runs, 1,301 RBI and a lifetime average of .342, which ranks ninth on the all-time list.
The cabinet (4.25x6.5") has been encapsulated and certified as "Authentic" by SGC. We are not sure why this card received an "Authentic" designation as opposed to a numerical grade, as it does not appear to be trimmed or altered in any way. There is a small amount of age toning on the front of the photo and some minor discoloration along the base of the reverse. Both flaws are minor in nature and do not detract in the least from the card's overall Excellent appearance