More than a century old, these 27 postcards from former Philadelphia A's outfielder Rube Oldring offer a peek into a different time and place. Most are addressed to his future wife and date from 1907 to 1914. Most are simply signed "Rube." There are also 22 postcards from family and friends to Rube, most originating in the teens, with the best being one from Louis Van Zelst, the A's batboy and hunchback mascot, who died in 1915 less than a year after this postcard was written. We have only seen one other signature of his, making this a real rarity. Van Zeist would accompany the team on road trips and encourage players to rub his hump for luck. There are also 28 postcards from Rube's wife Hannah, mostly to her parents, with the best one of the Polo Grounds with a note from Hannah beginning: "Dear Mother, This is where Rube plays ball."
In Philadelphia, during the dead-ball era, Rube Oldring was a name known by all. He was a star player for the 1911 and 1913 World Champion Philadelphia Athletics. Both of those Championships are represented here in fine splendor. Even though he was never considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Oldring was a reliable and gritty player for Connie Mack’s A’s dynasty. After spending 14 years in the major leagues, Rube went on playing for and managing the Wilson team of the Virginia League to a Championship Pennant. Let us not forget that this is a time period when baseball players had to work during the winter months to provide for their families. Rube was no different as he worked long hours to provide and played as hard as humanly possible because he loved the game of baseball. After retirement from the game, he began farming for a living and spent his entire life in his native, Bridgeton, New Jersey. The relics and treasures presented here have remained in the Olding family until this day. This is the first family-authorized sale of any of the Oldring family’s belongings. Each lot will come with a letter from the family.