Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Is This the Actual Franchise Certificate?

Hunt Auctions is running a Super-Bowl timed auction with some amazing treasures for Packer fans. Buried in the catalog is one item that could be the most important team artifact to ever hit the block.

This patriotic sheet of card is billed as the actual team franchise certificate, issued by the league in the 1920s.
Description: UPDATED DESCRIPTION: Historically significant Green Bay Packers National Football League charter certificate c.1920s. Joseph F. Carr assumed control of the American Professional Football Association in 1921 and was of sound conviction that the sport he loved was deserving of a far more prominent spot within the culture of American sport. From the start, he was determined to bring the game into the spotlight and show that it was being run in an honest and capable manner. Upon taking over, Carr instituted all manner of sweeping changes starting with the name and decreed that from 1922 onward the conglomerate of teams was to be known as "The National Football League." Other new rules and regulations introduced included League by-laws, membership criteria, a uniform player's contract, territorial rights, and a strict ban on the use of college players. It was this last point which would be pushed to the forefront by a controversial news report in late 1921. The public had long been wary of professional teams using collegiate players and when conclusive proof surfaced that three such players from Notre Dame had taken the field on behalf of Green Bay, Carr was forced to act. At a meeting of League Officials and team representatives in January of 1922 the Franchise rights which had been granted to the Packers were revoked. "My grandfather said he knew that some of the teams had been fudging on this particular rule" recalls grandson James Carr, "but this is the first time [he had] caught somebody, So he pulled the league franchise from the Packers and Curly Lambeau and that Franchise certificate that was originally sent to Lambeau was returned" That original certificate still belongs in our family." Upon further research we have concluded that this particular certificate dates to slightly later than referenced within the Carr family archives likely to the early to mid 1920s era rather than 1921 specifically. Undoubtedly, the offered certificate if an original signed variant as retained by Joseph Carr quite possibly with relation to the Packers process of renaming and assimilation into the NFL during that 1920s period. Beautifully executed on 13.5"x16" heavy stock, the certificate has "The National Football League Certificate of Membership" titling atop an American flag with football logo. The body is executed in flowing script which reads in part, "The Green Bay Football Corporation, A corporation owning and operating a Professional Football Club has by proper action of the National Football League been duly nominated and admitted into membership in that League" This Certificate endorses the right of the Green Bay Football Corporation to represent the city of Green Bay" It has been signed at lower right, "Joe F. Carr" in fountain pen rating 9/10 out of 10. The piece remains in fine overall condition with a touch of light even toning throughout (slightly more accentuated at areas) and some scattered additional very minor discoloration. Though Carr would help evolve the game from a band of small town teams to the largest spectator sport in America with participating clubs dotted throughout its major cities, The Packers remain unique as the only major professional sports team in American which is owned by the community in which it plays. Founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun and known in their earliest incarnation as The Acme Packers, they came to their now famed "Green Bay Packers" moniker after the Indian Packing Company agreed to sponsor the purchase of uniforms. In order to resume play in the NFL after the Franchise was revoked by Carr, Lambeau organized "The Hungry Five." Together, these Green Bay area businessmen raised the needed funds and incorporated the team as a non-profit. Over the ensuing decades they have won an NFL record (13) League Championships which include (9) NFL Titles and (4) Super Bowls. Includes letter of provenance from the Carr Family and full LOA from JSA: EX/MT-NM

Estimated Price Range: ($20,000-$40,000)
If this is real, then it belongs in the Packers Hall of Fame, not a private collection.

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