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1954 Milwaukee Braves Team-Signed Ball - Aaron Rookie Season
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,410
Dating from Hank Aaron’s rookie season, this official National League (Giles) ball features the blue ink signatures of thirty-one members of the 1954 Milwaukee Braves. Aaron's signature appears on a side panel and grades "8/9." The remaining signatures on the ball are those of Spahn (sweet spot), Mathews, Adcock (sweet spot), Grimm (Mgr., sweet spot), O'Connell, Logan, Pafko, Bruton, Crandall, Burdette, Conley, Pendleton, Metkovich, Dittmer, White, Thomson, Smalley, Calderone, Sisti, Jolly, Nichols, Wilson, Johnson, Buhl, Crone, Jay, Paine, Gorin, Walters (coach), and Keely (coach). The year, "1954," is written in blue ink on a side panel. Signatures range in grade from "8" to "10," averaging "9." All of the manufacturer's stampings are bold and legible. The ball has been coated with a moderate layer of protective shellac; otherwise it remains in Excellent to Mint condition. 1954 Milwaukee Braves team balls are both scarce and desirable due to the fact that they feature one of the earliest signature examples of legendary home run king Hank Aaron. Aaron joined the Braves in 1954 as a result of an injury to starting left fielder Bobby Thomson. The twenty-year-old rookie had no problem making the jump from A ball to the Major Leagues in 1954 and after just a few games it became apparent that he would be a fixture in the Braves outfield for years to come. This is a remarkably complete 1954 Braves team ball, featuring the signatures of twenty-nine of the thirty-two roster players from that season. The only signatures missing from the ball are those of position players Mel Roach and Billy Queen (each of whom only appeared in three games) and pitcher Dave Koslo (he appeared in twelve games). Interestingly, this has been a prized family keepsake for decades, and our consignor decided to part with this ball (along with two others, which are also featured in this auction) only after learning of its substantial value from one of the appraisers at the Antiques Roadshow, held in Wichita, Kansas, in the summer of 2008. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,410
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