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Lot # 1131 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Gigantic Billy Martin Single-Signed Baseball

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $940.00

This large novelty baseball, measuring an incredible thirty-eight inches in circumference and inscribed by Billy Martin, is probably familiar to most collectors, as it was featured in photos of Barry's collection hundreds of times over the years. Like many of the Barry Halper Collection items offered in this auction, this piece was one of Barry's favorites, and he couldn't bear to part with it during the initial offering of his collection in 1999. His fondness for the piece stemmed both from the circumstances of its signing and Martin's insightful and witty blue marker inscription ("10"): "To Barry - This is how the ball looked to Mickey and Joe D - Your Pal Billy Martin - Yankees - 4/8/89." When Billy first toured Barry's collection, this ball was just lying on the couch. Billy of course couldn't help but notice it, and as he picked it up he remarked to Barry that the difference between ordinary players and great players was that for ordinary players the ball looks like a pea coming to the plate, but for great players like Mantle and DiMaggio the ball appears as big as this. Barry loved that comment and asked him to write it on the ball, which of course he did, and thus another unique Barry Halper signature piece with a story was created. Also, we're pretty sure this is the largest Billy Martin single-signed baseball in existence. The lightweight giant baseball, which was long ago sold as a special novelty gift by a now-defunct company called Think Big (they also sold giant tennis rackets, giant pencils, etc.), is in Excellent condition. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $940.00

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