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Multi-Signed "Dead Ball" Era Ball With Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $15,080.00
Extraordinary multi-signed baseball dating from baseball's famed "dead ball" era, featuring eighteen black fountain pen signatures including that of the legendary Joe Jackson. The signature of Joe Jackson, who was the most significant participant in the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal, remains among the rarest and most desirable of all twentieth-century baseball signatures. Its rarity is due to the fact that while he was a major star, he was also semi-illiterate and normally avoided signing his name on anything other than legal documents. Jackson's signature here on a side panel of this ball, while somewhat light, is clearly unmistakable and grades between a "2" and "3." The remaining seventeen signatures featured upon this official American League (Johnson) ball are those of Ty Cobb, Hughie Jennings (on the ball label, "8," the strongest signature on the ball), Walter Johnson (sweet spot), Kid Gleason (sweet spot), Ray Schalk, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Stan Coveleski, Nick Altrock, Donnie Bush, Pep Young, Steve O'Neill, Oscar Stanage and four others (either illegible or too faint to read). While it is not known exactly when or where this ball was signed, it appears to date from circa 1917 and most likely originates from a barnstorming or special event game from the era. This ball (it was obtained with others) is alleged to have originated from the estate of Hughie Jennings' mistress, who, we are told, lived in Alabama. We have seen many balls over the years with this provenance, all with a very strong connection to Jennings and the Tigers, leading us to believe that this unusual provenance is absolutely accurate. This is the only ball from this long-ago dispersed collection signed by Joe Jackson. The ball has been coated with a moderate layer of protective shellac which has somewhat darkly toned with age. A number of abrasions to the shellac are evident throughout, affecting a few signatures (most notably the Cobb, and also, to a small degree the last name in "Jackson"). Otherwise, the signatures range in grade from "1" to "8", averaging "3/4." LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000+ SOLD FOR $15,080.00
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