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Willie Wells Signed Photo
Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $1,495.00
Portrait photographic print (8 x 10 inches) of Hall of Famer Willie Wells pictures him during his playing days, with the Detroit Wolves, circa 1932, and is beautifully signed "Best Wishes Willie Wells Sr" ("9"). Wells' signed photos are extremely rare. This is in large part because he passed away in 1989, but was not elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee until 1997. Wells was the first shortstop in baseball history to combine dazzling fielding with home-run power. He set a single-season Negro Leagues record with 27 homers in 88 games for the St. Louis Stars in 1926. Willie Wells is also recognized as one of the first professional ballplayers ever to wear a batting helmet, when he fashioned a hard hat for protection after a 1942 beaning. As player-manager of the Newark Eagles in the 1940s, Wells developed into an extraordinary leader and teacher, and several of his young players later became stars in the majors, including Larry Doby, Monte Irvin, and Don Newcombe. The non-vintage photographic print on heavy photo stock is in Excellent to Near Mint condition. LOAs from Mike Gutierrez/GAI and James Spence & Steve Grad/PSA DNA. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $1,495.00
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