As baseball campaigned toward becoming America’s pastime in the late 1800s seemingly every town with a population of nine or more got into the game. Among the more obscure teams to win a championship was the Defiance Base Ball Club. Offered is a metal presentation baseball engraved with “Presented to Defiance Base Ball Club, Champions 1886, by L.M. Woolf & Son, Johnstown PA”. This antique 3” diameter orb displays in (VG) condition with appealing luster moderately affected by tarnishing and several small indentations. More on our website.
No definite information is available regarding the location of the Defiance Base Ball Club or the league it represented as champions in 1886. There is an unincorporated community named “Defiance” in Bedford County, Pennsylvania near the Johnstown-Altoona region. L.M. Woolf was a prominent Johnstown clothing merchant reportedly involved in numerous local public works and improvements during the last quarter of the 19th Century. Acid testing of this metal baseball resulted in a creamy gray color indicating the ball is potentially fashioned from coin grade silver. This indication is also supported by the moderate surface tarnishing with underlying luster and the short time duration for the ball to warm up when handled, demonstrating a high degree of conductivity. Though these characteristics support the notion that this item has an approximate silver content of 80-90%, it is being offered as an antique collectible, not as a precious metal item. Ball weight is 4.17 ounces = to 118 grams.