Willie Foster was one of the most dominant players during the golden era of baseball. We will never know exactly how good he was, but it is not out of the question to put him in the elite company of Walter Johnson and other superstars that were his contemporaries in the early 1920's. He was never given the credit he was due, even in his own time and combined with the color of his skin, nobody really took the time to take his picture. As such, only a handful of original photographs of Foster exist, with this being one of his finest. The offered image is a contact print developed directly off the glass plate negative. While the image is a re-strike, it has some serious age to it with yellowing, some crazing to the surface and a distinct patina that is impossible to replicate unless the item sits exposed to handling and open air for decades. The back is severely yellowed from glue and age, as it was mounted after WWII using a oil based glue. It is impossible to tell with any accuracy the exact date the image was developed so we have identified it as "post-war" but there is absolute certainty this was developed in Foster's lifetime. The photo presents beautifully with a couple of staple holes being the only flaws. All things considered, the image is one of the finest to ever hit the market from one of the most elusive stars of the Negro Leagues! This is also the photo that was used to make Fosters 1927 Allorquina baseball card and this adds to its already incredible importance.
Designation: Non-Vintage (Post-War)
Overall Grade: 8/10