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Circa 1960 Multi-Signed Ball Including Ty Cobb
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,410
Baseball (manufacturer's stampings very light, most likely an official American League ball) signed in blue or black ink by twenty-four individuals, including three Hall of Fame players, the most prominent of whom is Ty Cobb. Cobb's signature, which is located on a side panel, features his customary flourish underscoring his name and grades "9." The two other Hall of Fame signatures on this ball are those of Ford Frick ("7") and Orlando Cepeda ("7/8"). Of the remaining twenty-one signatures, we recognize twelve former Major League players: Jackie Jensen, Al Dark, Wilbur Wood, Carroll Hardy, Ted Wills, Earl Wilson, Bob Heffner, Russ Nixon, Bill Monbouquette, Frank Malzone, Tom Borland, and Don Gile. This is an interesting group of signatures that appears to have no defining theme. Cobb passed away on July 17, 1961, but a few of the players listed here did not begin their Major League careers until shortly after. The only common thread we can find is the fact that all of the players listed, with the exception of Frick, Dark, and Cepeda, played for the Boston Red Sox during the early 1960s. Since the few players whose Major League debut took place after Cobb's death were in the Red Sox farm system circa 1960, it's possible that this ball was obtained at a Red Sox spring training game that was attended by Cobb. (If the game were against the San Francisco Giants in 1961, that could also explain the presence of the Cepeda and Dark signatures.) It's also possible that the signatures were obtained on this ball over a period of time. Regardless of its origin, it is a fascinating and unique ball, and the Cobb signature featured here is a high-grade example, all alone making this a worthy addition to any signed ball collection. The ball displays moderate surface wear, possibly from game use, and is in Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,410
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