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1927 New York Yankees Autograph Album with Ruth, Gehrig, Giard, and Many Other Notables
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $7,638
This extraordinary autograph album, which is new to the organized collecting world, includes the signatures of twenty-three members of the 1927 New York Yankees, among them Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe Giard, plus those of thirty-one other prominent players from the era, such as Ott, Terry, and Bresnahan. A total of sixteen Hall of Fame signatures (fourteen different) appear in the book. When our consignor first contacted us regarding this album, we were only told that it had the signatures of Ruth, Gehrig and a few other Hall of Famers. After receiving it, we soon realized how much more significant the book was than described, as included are the signatures of nearly every member of the entire 1927 New York Yankees team, considered by many to be the greatest ball club ever assembled. According to our consignor, her father, James Fay, obtained all of the signatures in this book personally during the late 1920s by waiting for the players outside the stadium after games. Fay lived in the Bronx at the time (where the family still resides) and it’s obvious by the inclusion of the many National League signatures here that in addition to Yankee Stadium he also frequently visited the nearby Polo Grounds as well. Fay originally purchased the sixty-one page leather-bound book (6 x 5 inches) for use as a high school autograph book (his name, the name of the school, and graduation date, “James Fay, Our Lady of Good Counsel – June 17, 1926,” appear on the first page). Nearly all of the pages contain inscriptions from classmates and teachers; however, some pages (usually on the reverse of an inscribed page) also feature signatures of Major League players, most notably members of the 1927 New York Yankees. The complete list of baseball signatures in the book is as follows (in pencil unless noted as scripted in black fountain pen): 1927 New York Yankees (twenty-three signatures, not all on the same page): Ruth (black fountain pen, signature circled in pencil, grading “9”), Gehrig (signature circled in pencil, “8/9”), Giard (a pencil circle around the Ruth signature touches upon the Giard signature, otherwise “8/9”), Shocker, Koenig, Meusel, Paschal, Bengough, Combs, Ruether (twice, one in black fountain pen), Shawkey, Collins, Fletcher (coach), Gazella, Morehart, Pipgrass, Lazzeri, Wera (black fountain pen), Durst (black fountain pen), Hoyt (black fountain pen), Moore (black fountain pen), Dugan (black fountain pen), and Grabowski (black fountain pen). The book also contains the signature (black fountain pen) of team owner Jacob Ruppert. This is an amazing compilation of signatures that includes twenty-two of the twenty-five roster players from 1927; missing only manager Miller Huggins, Herb Pennock, Myles Thomas, and Walter Beall. While the signatures of Ruth and Gehrig are the most prominent, it is that of Giard that is most highly sought after by collectors. Joe Giard’s Major League pitching career lasted three seasons and he finished his career with a lifetime record of 13-15 and a 5.96 ERA. Despite those less than impressive accomplishments, his signature is highly prized today due to the fact that Girard is the most elusive of all 1927 Yankees signatures and the key rarity in completing a set of 1927 New York Yankees signatures. Giard’s final season was with the legendary 1927 New York Yankees and he passed away in 1956 at the age of fifty-eight. The signature of Urban Shocker is also rare, as he passed away in 1928. The acquisition of signature examples of all twenty-five 1927 New York Yankees roster players, plus manager Miller Huggins, is a monumental feat that few collectors have achieved. As a point of reference, a collection of nineteen different 1927 New York Yankees signatures, which DID NOT included Ruth, Gehrig, and Giard, sold for $14,100 in Robert Edward Auctions' April 2007 sale (Lot 647). Value is very subjective, and every group of autographs is very different, but clearly the 1927 Yankees signatures in this album make it a very significant find. Additional Signatures: Roger Peckinpaugh, Leslie Mann, Bill Clarkson (twice), Al DeVommer, Dutch Henry, Larry Benton, George Harper, Freddie Fitzsimmons, Dazzy Vance (signature circled in pencil), Herb Thomas (twice), Heinie Mueller (twice, once in black fountain pen), Gus Felix, Mel Ott (signature circled in pencil), Zack Taylor, Red Lucas, Ben Cantwell (twice, once in black fountain pen), Ethan Allen, Burleigh Grimes (twice, both in black fountain pen), Virgil Barnes, Eppa Rixey, Rube Bressler, Bill Terry (twice, once in black fountain pen), Ed Roush, Ray Schalk (in black fountain pen), Bert Cole (in black fountain pen), Bibb Falk (in black fountain pen), Alex Metzler (in black fountain pen), Bud Clancy (in black fountain pen), Roger Bresnahan (in black fountain pen), Jack Cummings, and Freddie Lindstrom. There are two other signatures in the book that appear to be those of Major League players, but they are illegible. Based upon the names present here, it is almost certain that all of the signatures were obtained in 1927. This is a remarkable collection of vintage signatures, many of which are rare, highlighted by the near-complete roster of the 1927 New York Yankees. The signatures range from “5” to “10,” averaging “8.” The pages display minor handling wear and the album is in Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $7,638
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