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1949 Chicago Bears Trophy Football From Sam Framo's Sports Bar
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $1,057.50
Elaborately decorated 1949 Chicago Bears trophy football, signed by thirty-four team members, presented to famed Philadelphia restaurateur Sam Framo. The official Thorp NFL football, "The Duke," features a painted banner on one panel that reads "The Best To Sam - Chicago Bears" in gold lettering. The other three panels feature the signatures of thirty-four members of the 1949 Chicago Bears, including six Hall of Fame players: George Blanda, George Connor, Sid Luckman, George McAfee, "Bulldog" Turner, Paddy Driscoll (coach), Alf Bauman, J.R. Boone, Ray Bray, Stu Clarkson, George Connor, Fred Davis, Wally Dreyer, Chuck Drulis, Jack Dugger, Dick Flanagan, George Gulyanics, John Hoffman, Ken Kavanaugh, Jim Keane, Don Kindt, Johnny Lujack (2), Dante Magnani, Bill Milner, Bob Perina, Pat Preston, Wash Serini, Ed Sprinkle, Paul Stenn, Walt Stickel, Frank Szymanski, Luke Johnson (coach), Hank Anderson (coach), Andy Lotshow (coach), and one other (illegible). It appears that the signatures have been gone over in gold paint in order to accentuate them, thus enhancing the ball's appearance (a common practice with presentation pieces like this). Sam Framo was Philadelphia's answer to Boston's "Nuf Ced" McGreevey and his bar, called Framo's, was the favorite watering hole for all of the local sports personalities, as well as the city's most diehard fans. Framo's was also the city's preeminent sports museum and, like McGreevey's Third Base tavern, was famous for its vast display of Philadelphia sports memorabilia. Obviously, Framo was on friendly terms with the visiting players as well and the Bears, as a team, saw fit to present this ball to him in 1949, probably in thanks for his hospitality. The ball is in Excellent to Mint condition. Its remarkable state of preservation is due to its having remained in its original wood display case, with glass paneled sides, for the past fifty-nine years. This ball was displayed for many years in Framo's bar and represents, in terms of aesthetics and age, by far the finest postwar trophy football we have ever seen. The most important display items in Framo's bar were kept as special keepsakes by the Framo family after its closing many years ago. This ball was purchased by our consignor directly from Sam Framo's son. Included with the ball are three photos of Sam Framo's bar that would be perfect for display with the ball. Two of the photos picturing Framo posing inside the bar, while the other pictures the outside of the bar. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,057.50
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