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Lot # 947 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1939 Cuban Signed Postal Display Including Martin Dihigo

Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $1,044.00

Cuban Baseball first-day-of-issue commemorative cover signed by Martin Dihigo and many other Cuban and American players. This is one of the most impressive Cuban baseball display pieces and one of the most unusual pieces of postal/baseball history we have ever encountered: a cover bearing the stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of baseball with approximately sixty-five signatures, including numerous Cuban and American baseball players as well as Cuban and American academic and political personalities. The cover, completely folded out, measures 26 x 17 inches, and includes the 1939 baseball stamp issue as well as numerous cancellations. The original owner has transformed this simple cover by neatly affixing a color magazine plate of a pitcher winding-up to the center of the envelope. A baseball diamond has been drawn around the image. On the four bases are mounted team symbols for the four cornerstone franchises of Cuban baseball. On both sides, numerous players and others have then signed their names. Most notable, of course, is the rare signature of Martin Dihigo, considered by many as the greatest all-around player to ever play the game of baseball. Dihigo, 1905-1971, led the League in home runs in 1926, was an All-Star in 1935 and 1945, and was admitted to the Hall of Fame in 1977. In a poll conducted in the early 1980s among ex-Negro League players and other experts on black baseball, Dihigo gathered votes as best all-time outfielder and third baseman, and was voted to the first team all-time black all-star team as a second baseman. Other signatures found on this unique document include the great Cuban pitcher Luis Tiant Sr., the father of the American star pitcher Luis Tiant, Havana fielder and American Negro Leaguer Pedro Formental, Angel Flores, and many others, as well as American players who were playing in Cuba in the late 1940s, including Danny Gardella, Alex Carresquel, Max Manning and many others. The reverse side appears to be tied to the anniversary of the birth of the great Cuban author Enrique José Varona and bears the signatures of numerous academics and political figures from the United States, Cuba, Paraguay, and Argentina, including the signature of Raul Roa, who served as Castro's Foreign Minister until 1976. They surround a printed reproduction of a 1927 letter of Varona as well as his image. Numerous postmarks and other stamps adorn both sides of this very unusual piece. The postmarks date between 1947 and 1950, with most being 1947. Three (apparently) baseball game tickets are also incorporated into the design of the cover, including one from "Gran Stadium de la Habana," the most famous park in Cuban baseball, which was inaugurated October 26, 1946 with the first game of the Cuban professional season between Almendares and Cienfuegos, two of the most popular clubs at this time. The condition overall is excellent with bright, vivid colors, with only a slight bit of toning and soiling. This very unusual, unique, and sophisticated piece was obviously the result of great vision and effort, and is worthy of greater study. It is a fascinating piece and one of the very few impressive display items relating to Cuban baseball we have seen. Beautifully matted and framed to total dimensions of 40 x 31 inches. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA.Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $1,044.00

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