After two rather experimental seasons, the first champion under the new rules is the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn. In the following year things already get complicated. The best players begin to mix salary and compensation. The Atlantics dominated by the Excelsior Base Ball Club of Brooklyn are declared champions to avoid a riot from disappointed bettors.
A photo published in Brooklyn in carte-de-visite format on 6 x 10 cm cardboard shows a group of nine Atlantics in three ranks wearing their baseball uniform, assisted by two men in city outfits who are certainly the club's managers. One of the seated players holds a bat on his knees. Three copies are known.
One of the three was authenticated by SGC without grading, due to some shearing of the photographic paper associated with a poor condition of the cardboard. It had been kept by the brother of one of the players and had on the back a newspaper clipping that lists the nine regular players and their five substitutes of the 1859 season. It was sold for $ 180K including premium by Heritage on July 30, 2015.
Another copy in a much better condition of contrast and cleanliness is graded VG3 by SGC. It is estimated $ 150K for sale by Heritage on April 18 online from Dallas, lot 51001. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The Excelsior of Brooklyn page in Wikipedia is illustrated by a picture of the nine players from that team. The original document linked by Wikipedia identifies each of them by his position, standing from left to right. The group includes the star player Jim Creighton who joined the Excelsiors in 1860. The format of the print is not published therein.
The photos of these teams were taken in a surrounding that seems identical : a studio whose bare wall is interrupted only once by a vertical line, with a carpet of similar patterns. It seems probable that they were both made in 1860 at the time of the match whose disputed decision was referred above.
SOLD for $ 180K including premium