August Live 2014
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
John "Jack" Lapp was one of those popular old-time ballplayers whose name and legacy have since receded into the shadows. A back-up catcher with the A's for 8 of his 9 big-league campaings, Lapp took the field in 71 games in his third season of 1910, and he played a critical role in the championship-clinching Game 5 of the World Series with a go-ahead RBI single.
As author John P. Tierney recounts in his biography Jack Coombs: A Life, "Coombs lobbied Connie Mack to have Jack Lapp be his catcher in the game; Lapp had been the catcher for twenty-two of Coombs' thirty-one wins during the season. The twenty-six-year-old Lapp shared the catching duties with Ira Thomas in 1910, with Lapp considered the better offensive threat and Thomas the stronger defensive backstop...Not coincidentally, Coombs gave his best performance of the series with his favorite backstop behind the plate."
Lapp enjoyed an even finer year in 1911, batting a torrid .353 in 68 regular-season games and then showing his defensive prowess in Game 3 of the Fall Classic. Over 11 innings, Lapp was an incredible five-for-five in throwing out attempted base stealers—against a lightning-fast Giants squad that had just set the single-season major-league record with 347 total swipes!
Upon Lapp's untimely death from pneumonia in 1920 at the age of 35, the New York Times eulogized, "LAPP, NOTED CATCHER, DIES...Lapp first gained national recognition in 1910. Paired with Pitcher Jack Coombs, he performed splendidly in the world's series against the Chicago Cubs and aided materially in winning the Championship fo the Athletics. He continued as a star through the seasons of 1911, 1913 and 1914."
Offered here is Lapp's prestigious tri-handled trophy cup from that first championship in Athletics franchise history. At a time when small championship mementos like watches, fobs and pins were de rigueur, the Mackmen pulled out all the stops and spared no expense in ordering these 8"-tall, 9"-wide beauties from their trusty jewelry supply company J.E. Caldwell & Company. Lapp's treasure ranks among the earliest of all World Series trophies and as one of fewer than a handful of 1910 A's examples ever to surface at auction. The engraved front panel is centered with a beautiful bronze "Philadelphia / 1910" medallion featuring raised details and an antiquity motif. The surrounding text reads, "PRESENTED BY / THE CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA / TO / JOHN W. LAPP / WORLD'S CHAMPIONS / THE AMERICAN BASE BALL CLUB / OF PHILADELPHIA / SEASON / 1910." One side panel showcases an absolutely gorgeous, 2" x 1-5/8", blue-and-white-enameled, bronze A's pennant (in Near Mint condition) with the iconic white elephant beside the team's stylized letter "A." The other side panel displays a crossed-bat-and-ball design, while the underside is handsomely marked, "SILVER PLATE / J.E. CALDWELL & CO. / PHILADELPHIA." Condition is well-preserved EX overall aside from typical age patina of emulsion-like spotting and discoloration to the silver-plated surface. There is some minor finish loss on the handles yet virtually none of the incidental shelf wear (dings, abrasions, etc.) so common to trophies of this size and vintage.
Jack Lapp 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Championship Trophy Cup
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