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1919 Cleveland Indians Team-Signed Baseball Including Ray Chapman
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $3,525.00
Official American League (Johnson) ball signed in black fountain pen by the following twenty-nine members of the 1919 Cleveland Indians: Chapman, Speaker, Coveleski (printed), Wood, Graney, Coumbe, Lunte, Morton, Evans, Smith, Wambsganss, Thomas, Gardner, Uhle, O’Neill, Klepfer, Caldwell, Faeth, Morton, Johnston, Harris, Jasper, Nunamaker, Jamieson, Bagby, Smallwood (trainer), and three others (faded beyond legibility). A vintage black-ink notation on the sweet spot reads “Cleveland Baseball Club – Season of 1919.” The signatures range in grade from “1” to “9,” averaging “6.” Team-signed baseballs dating prior to 1920 are exceedingly rare and this particular example is especially noteworthy for the fact that it includes the signature of shortstop Ray Chapman. The following season Chapman was struck in the head by a pitched ball from Carl Mays and he died the next morning. To this day, his death remains the only on-field fatality in the history of Major League baseball. As a result of his untimely death, Chapman’s signature, in any form, is extremely rare today. It should be noted that this ball, which includes the signatures of nearly every key member of Cleveland’s 1920 World Championship club, is a significant rarity among team-signed balls. It is the first 1919 Cleveland Indians team ball we have ever offered. The ball is lightly soiled and displays a few minor abrasions on one side panel (not significantly affecting any of the signatures). All of the manufacturer’s labels are bold and legible. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $3,525.00
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