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Lot # 997 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Vintage Joe Gordon Single-Signed Ball

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,998

Goldsmith “Official League Ball” inscribed in blue ink on a side panel by Joe Gordon, one of the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gordon’s inscription reads “To Donny from Joe Gordon” and grades “8.” The red-and-black stitched ball, which appears to date from the 1940s, is in remarkable Near Mint condition. Vintage Joe Gordon single-signed balls dating from his playing days are rare. This is not only the finest vintage example we have ever seen, but it is also the first. Gordon passed away in 1978 at the age of sixty-three, but he wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame until this year. As is the case whenever a player is elected to the Hall posthumously, especially decades after his death, the supply of available signature examples (especially on single-signed balls, a very popular area of collecting) can never meet the overwhelming demand. Gordon’s election by the Veteran’s Committee this year took many collectors by surprise and it is unlikely that many collectors had the foresight decades ago to obtain Joe Gordon's signature alone on a baseball, let alone a vintage example such as this dating from Joe Gordon's playing days. In looking at Gordon’s resume, however, he seems perfectly qualified to enter Cooperstown’s hallowed halls. A nine-time All-Star, he was not only one of the top defensive second basemen of his era but a power hitter as well. Gordon set an American League record (since broken) for home runs by a second baseman in 1948 and his career total of 246 also established a record for American League second basemen at the time of his retirement in 1950. After a stellar World Series performance for the Yankees in 1941, manager Joe McCarthy had this to say about his star second baseman: “The greatest all-around ballplayer I ever saw, and I don’t bar any of them, is Joe Gordon.” Those words are especially telling considering the fact that McCarthy managed both Gehrig and DiMaggio. The following season Gordon justified McCarthy’s remark by winning the American League MVP Award over Triple Crown winner Ted Williams. Following his playing career, Gordon managed for a number of Major League clubs before retiring for good in the early 1970s. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,998

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