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Lot # 836 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1927 New York Yankees Johnny Grabowski Day Pin

Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $406.00

Over the years, many ballplayers have been honored with their own day. Ruth. Gehrig. Mathewson. And let's not forget Johnny Grabowski, back-up catcher for the 1927 Yankees! OK, Grabowski Day was not one of the big events in baseball history. Or even Yankee history. In fact, no one remembers it. But fortunately, the celebration was commemorated by this very rare and unusual souvenir pinback which was available only on this one day at Yankee Stadium in 1927. The pin features a portrait of Johnny Grabowski and reads, "Grabowski Day, 'Our Nig' June 26, 1927." It's hard to believe that in 1927 Babe Ruth did not have a day; Lou Gehrig did not have a day; Tony Lazzeri did not have a day. Only Grabowski. We're not sure how exactly this came to be. We do understand that when Pat Collins needed a day off as catcher for Murderers' Row, Grabowski was the man, but still it's hard to fathom that his four home runs and .277 average over 195 at bats would earn him his own day. But it did, and in his honor, on June 26, 1927, Yankee fans celebrated "Johnny Grabowski Day" at Yankee Stadium. Apparently not many people attended. Or maybe this pin was available only for sale to Grabowski's most enthusiastic fans, or only in a very limited number, because over the past 30 years, in the entire collecting world, we have seen or heard of fewer than five surviving examples. The original back paper is intact, and identifies the pin as manufactured by "The Whitehead & Hoag Co." of Newark, New Jersey, the leading button and novelty company of the day. Johnny Grabowski played seven seasons in the Major Leagues. He joined the Yankees in 1927 and was part of World Championship teams in both '27 and '28. Known to his teammates as "Nig", he was a reliable catcher with a decent arm who was very well liked by his other Murderers' Row teammates. Some minor surface scratches along top, otherwise in Excellent condition. We can only imagine the interest there would be in this pin if it were for "Babe Ruth Day" in 1927. It isn't. But it is one of the great and most interesting of all baseball celluloid rarities, and only the second example we have seen ever surface at auction. Diameter: 2 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $406.00


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