Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Chicago National League Ball Club
. This historic document was printed by the Security Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle perched.
The Chicago National League Ball Club (the Chicago Cubs) began as the Chicago White Stockings in 1876. The team became the Cubs in 1907. The Tribune Company, purchased the team in 1981 from the Wrigley family. The Cubs captured its last World Series victory in 1908, but loyal fans continue to wait for the next championship celebration. Hopefully, 2003 is their year! Famed Wrigley Field, home to the team since 1916, is the second-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (after Boston's Fenway Park).
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.