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Sporting Goods Pioneers Signed Contract Lot of (5) With Irving Wright and J.W. Spalding

Lot Number 850

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These (5) legal documents were signed by legends who helped shape American sports. Potent black-ink fountain pen scriptings average (“9”) strength and include: William H. Cook 1926 Wright & Ditson appointment; J.W. Curtiss 1932 Wright & Ditson appointment; H. Boardman Spalding 1921 Spalding stock transfer; J.W. Spalding 1914 Spalding contract; Irving Wright 1932 Wright & Ditson appointment. LOAs from Rich Albersheim.

1. JULIAN W. CURTISS SIGNED Document BY GOLF & BASKETBALL PIONEER - Julian Wheeler Curtiss (1858 - 1944), was president of the Spalding sports equipment company and a pioneering promoter of golf in the United States. On a trip to London in 1892 to buy leather to make footballs in the U.S., he was introduced to golf. He brought home with him $400 worth of equipment and started the first manufacture of golf equipment in the United States. In 1892 with his brother, Edwin Burr Curtiss, and others he started the Fairfield County Golf Club, today known as the Greenwich Country Club. Curtiss served as the club's first President, from 1892-96, and again from 1921-34. Curtiss was affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union and became treasurer of the American Olympic Committee. He was one of the figures, together with Walter Camp and others, responsible at the turn of the twentieth century with popularizing sports in the U.S. and making it a central part of American culture. He designed the first basketball in association with James Naismith, the inventor of the game. From 1902 to 1911 he served as graduate coach of the Yale crew team, turning out five championship outfits, and from 1918 to 1940, he refereed many of the foremost crew races in the East. Today, he is one of those forgotten figures in sports history, but the significance of his achievements can not be underestimated. A prime candidate for both the Basketball and Golf Hall of Fame.

2. H. Boardman Spalding Signed Reach document D. 1971 - VP, secretary, treasurer, and director at A.G. Spalding & Brothers Sporting Goods. Brother of world famous violinist, Albert Spalding and son of J. Walter Spalding (co-founder of Spalding).

3. Irving Wright Tennis Champion Signed Document D. 1953- was an American male tennis player who was active in the early 20th century.In 1907 Irving won the Long Island Lawn Tennis Championship. In 1917 he won the U.S. National Championship mixed doubles championship with Norwegian Molla Bjurstedt by defeating Bill Tilden and Florence Ballin in three sets. The next year he successfully defended the title, this time partnering Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, winning against Molla Bjurstedt and Fred Alexander in straight sets. In 1917 he also reached the final of the U.S. National Championship men's doubles competition with Harry Johnson but lost in straight sets to Fred Alexander and Harold Throckmorton. Irving was the son of George Wright, an American baseball pioneer and one of the founders of the Wright & Ditson sporting goods firm and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the brother of U.S. Championship winner and Olympic gold medalist Beals Wright. Together they won the men's doubles title at the Canadian Tennis Championship four times (1902, 1903, 1904, 1905). Wright became a VP at A.G. Spalding after Wright & Ditson merged.

4. William H. Cook – company executive with Wright & Ditson and a career minor leaguer from 1887-1895 in the New England area.

5. JW James Walter Spalding Signed AJ Reach Document D. 1931 A.G. Spalding- brother of Baseball HOF’er, A.G. Spalding and father of famous composer, Albert Spalding and heir to the Spalding Sporting Goods fortune, H. Boardman Spalding. When you see the logo, A.G. Spalding & Brothers, JW is the brothers part of the company name. The company was founded in Springfield Massachusetts by Albert G. Spalding and his brother, J.W. Spalding, in 1876, with a capital of $800. The business title, A.G. Spalding and Brother, was changed in 1878 to A.G. Spalding and Brothers when they were joined by W.T. Brown, a brother-in-law. Not that the formal title has mattered for many years because everybody speaks and thinks of "Spaldings" and sports equipment as synonymous terms. The company standardized early baseballs and developed the modern baseball bat with the bulge at its apex. In 1892, Spalding acquired Wright & Ditson and A. J. Reach, both rival sporting goods companies. When Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891, Spaldings made the first basket balls, and in 1894 the first golf balls, and thereafter the first footballs and the first tennis balls ever made in the United States.

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