August Live 2014
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
This peerless pair of pinstriped pants first emerged in the hobby a decade ago as part of a complete 1911-12 Frank Chance uniform that had originated with an Iowa family. According to the family's back-story, the Cubs ensemble had been gifted by Chance to a local boy who couldn't afford a uniform of his own. In 2009, the jersey went to the auction block by itself, selling for $62,000, while the pants remained in our current consignor's collection up until now.
The off-white/cream wool pair with navy pinstripes features a three-button front with a large hook at top. There are eight belt loops around the waistband and two back pockets with button-closures. A Spalding main label appears inside the back of the waistband, and a small rectangular off-white swatch has been sewn nearby. "Chance" has been stitched in navy script inside the front button-path. Solid wear throughout including a repair near the right knee, a small hole near the bottom left leg opening, toning, spotting, and other evidence of use.
To fully appreciate the significance of these Chance pants, it is important to note the extreme rarity of any Deadball Era uniforms—let alone from Deadball HOFers...and especially among those of the Peerless Leader's caliber. In fact, only two Chance jerseys are known to exist, both of which are cemented in high-end collections. And auction records over the past 15 years show a strong pants precedent among Deadballers such as Ty Cobb (12/02 - $13,000) and Addie Joss (8/04 - $4,750). It is difficult to overstate the paucity of these early fabric fossils from the Grand Old Game. Yes, for all who believe that "next year" is always imminent, this is a piece for the ages—a highly important garment donned by Chance during the very days to which Cubbies faithful long for their beloved team to return.
Also included is a striking original Chance painting published on Page 80 of Dick Perez's retrospective book The Immortals. The picturesque profile portrait has a visible area measuring 13-1/2" x 17-1/2" within total framed dimensions of 16-3/4" x 20-3/4".
Frank Leroy Chance was and remains the embodiment of Cubs fans' hopes and aspirations. Although nary a living soul today remembers his presence firsthand, Chance stood for everything that the often-hapless squad's fans have so desperately craved for more than a century now. A Hall of Famer based on his merits as a player, Chance was enshrined in 1946 by the Committee on Baseball Veterans. But he could just as easily have been inducted by way of his managerial accolades, as he won 932 games over 12 seasons and posted a .593 winning percentage—which equates to the sixth best ratio in Major League history. Having taken the helm in 1905, Chance guided Chicago to three successive N.L. pennants (1906-08), making the Cubs the first team to accomplish that feat. In both 1907 and 1908, the Cubbies would reign as World Series champions (also a baseball first). Therein lies the persistent reminder for agonizing Cubs fans of modern times: it hasn't been done since. Gone are the days of the Cubs' National League pennant "three-peats," repeats and heck, since 1945, even one N.L. flag has been ever elusive—let alone a World Championship. The prosperous era Chance helped to author saw the North Siders triumph 530 times from 1906 to 1910 for a .693 winning percentage—the best five-year record in the history of baseball. Chance and Co. flourished beyond the diamond, too. Accompanied by teammates Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers, Chance helped to form what was arguably the greatest double-play combination of all time. The trio's defensive prowess figuratively commissioned one of baseball's most famous literary passages, "Baseball's Sad Lexicon": "These are the saddest of possible words: 'Tinker to Evers to Chance.' Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double—Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: 'Tinker to Evers to Chance.'" LOA from Legendary Auctions.
1911-12 Frank Chance Chicago Cubs Game Used Home Pants - With Dick Perez Frank Chance Painting
Click above for larger image.