From Dave Wedge at The Boston Herald on May 23, with quotes from SABR member Peter Nash:
One of a handful of known pictures from the first-ever 1901 Red Sox spring training surfaced on eBay recently and is on its way back to the Hub as part of a sweeping effort to recover rare, turn-of-the-century baseball photos swiped from the Boston Public Library decades ago, the Herald has learned.
The 1901 picture depicts Sox pitcher George “Nig” Cuppy in a photo shoot from the team’s first spring training in Charlottesville, Va. The sepia-toned snapshot turned up on eBay recently and was bought by a collector in Iowa for $66, but could be worth more than $1,000.
The collector, David Maus of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, noticed BPL markings on the photo and suspected it was one of more than 60 items from the Michael “Nuf Ced” McGreevy collection pilfered from the library in the 1970s.
“This is a great story of a collector being proactive and returning it,” said Susan Glover, the library’s keeper of special collections. “He did what he needed to do to get it back to us.”
Maus reached out to noted baseball memorabilia expert Peter Nash, who runs the fraud-tracking site Haulsofshame.com and co-owns Boylston Street Sox bar McGreevy’s saloon. The collector sent the picture to Nash, who is returning it to the BPL as part of an effort to rebuild the stolen McGreevy collection.
“They obviously didn’t know what they had,” Nash said. “In a baseball auction this would have gone for more than $1,000. It’s very rare.”
Originally published: May 24, 2011. Last Updated: May 24, 2011.