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Lot # 507 (of 873)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1955 Ty Cobb Signed Action Photo

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $5,750.00

Magnificent and extremely famous photograph (8 x 10 inches) of Ty Cobb, signed and inscribed by Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. Cobb has signed the photograph in his trademark green ink, "To Vince, From Ty, 3/23/55." The signature and inscription are extremely strong, grading at least a "9" on a scale of "1 to 10." This is one of the most famous baseball photographs ever taken. It is the defining image of Ty Cobb in action, and of legendary photographer Charles Conlon's remarkable artistry. This was also obviously one of Cobb's favorite images. In the mid-1950s Cobb apparently arranged for a small number of photographic prints of this image to be made, to sign and present to friends. Only a few are known to exist, so the number may have been very small, but all are dated, all within a very narrow time frame. The photograph was originally taken by Conlon at Hilltop Park on July 23, 1910. As Conlon himself recalled the incident, one moment he was relaxed, standing off the third baseline talking with third baseman Jimmy Austin. Cobb was on second with one out and the Detroit hitter was trying to bunt him to third. As Austin moved in for the sacrifice, Cobb took off with the determination that he was making it to third safely. As Austin backed up to the base, awaiting the throw from the catcher, Cobb arrived with a cloud of dirt and flying spikes, taking out Austin's legs from underneath him. With Cobb's "assistance," Austin hit the dirt, the ball was overthrown, and Cobb was safe. In the flurry of activity, Conlon did not even know if he had taken the shot. In fact, he was full of regret immediately following Cobb's stolen base, because he thought he had missed an excellent opportunity. Upon developing the film later, this extraordinary image was revealed. Only then did Charles Conlon realize that he had, indeed, snapped it by sheer instinct, preserving this moment forever in this photograph, which would soon become recognized as one of the greatest in-action photographs ever taken in the history of the game. Several full-signature signed examples of this photograph have come to auction and have sold for in excess of $20,000. Cobb must have known Vince, the recipient of this photograph, very well, as he has signed this example simply "Ty." This is the only example we have seen signed "Ty." The short form of his signature on this photograph presents a rare and potentially more economical opportunity to acquire what many consider to be the single most ideal Ty Cobb signed image in the world of collecting. On the reverse of the photo is neatly printed in pencil Cobb's home address, "T.R. Cobb, 48 Spencer Lane, Menlo Park, Calif." The photograph has a few very small, minor surface creases along the bottom, and the most minute chipping along the extreme edge of the bottom border, of no consequence, both flaws mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy, otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOAs from Mike Gutierrez/GAI and James Spence & Steve Grad/PSA DNA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $5,750.00


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