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Lot # 996 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1951 St. Louis Browns Team-Signed Ball with Satchel Paige

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $823

Official American League (Harridge) ball signed in black ink by twenty-six members of the 1951 St. Louis Browns including former Negro League star Satchel Paige. Ideally, Paige's signature (grading "8") is located on the sweet spot along with that of manager Zack Taylor. The remaining twenty-four signatures on the ball are those of McDonald, Batts, Maguire, Berardino, Bauman, Delsing, Garver, Pillette, Byrne, Winegardner (coach), Widmar, Marsh, Jennings, Wood, Tobin (coach), Lollar, Mapes, Sanford, Suchecki, Taylor, Young, Mahoney, Arft, and Redys (coach). Signatures range from "6" to "9," averaging "8." The manufacturer's stampings are light, but legible, and the ball displays very light age toning. In overall Excellent condition. Considered by many to be one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game, Satchel Paige became the first black pitcher in the American League after Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck signed him to a contract in 1948. Despite the fact that Paige was forty-one years old and his best years were long behind him, he finished the season with a 6-1 record and was instrumental in helping the club capture its first World Championship in twenty-eight years. Veeck sold the Indians following the 1950 season, but in 1951 he purchased the St. Louis Browns and once again signed the irrepressible Paige to pitch for his new club. Paige appeared in twenty-three games with the Browns in 1951, compiling a 3-4 record and a 4.79 ERA. He pitched two more seasons for the Browns before officially retiring from the Majors. In 1971 Paige was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Committee on Negro League Baseball. Paige only played five seasons in the Majors (not counting his three-inning publicity stunt with Charley Finley's A's in 1965), therefore any team balls featuring his signature are both rare and highly desirable. This is an outstanding example dating from his brief Major League career, with Satchel Paige's signature beautifully displayed on the sweet spot. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $823

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