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1923 Charles Comiskey Signed Chicago White Sox Stock Certificate #1 - Issued to Comiskey
Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $2,115
Historically significant 1923 Chicago White Sox stock certificate, numbered "1," issued to, and signed by, team president Charles Comiskey. On November 27, 1923, four years removed from the greatest scandal in baseball history, Charles Comiskey sat down with club secretary Harry Grabiner to become the first and principal investor in the American League Base Ball Club of Chicago. The certificate, which is both printed and filled in by hand, certifies that "Charles A. Comiskey is the owner of seventy four hundred (7,400) shares of the Capital Stock of American League Base Ball Club of Chicago, of the par value of One Hundred Dollars each." It has been signed in black fountain pen by both "Chas. A. Comiskey" (grading "10"), as president, and by Comiskey's right-hand man "Harry M. Grabiner" ("9"), as secretary. The certificate is stamped "Cancelled" on the front, above which is the black-ink notation "Cancelled 5/28/40." As owner of 7,400 of the 7,500 shares of the issued Capital Stock, this certificate gave Comiskey full control of the club, but many might have looked upon it as a bad investment. Following the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal, which resulted in the lifetime suspensions of eight White Sox players, the club sank to the second division, a place it occupied every season for the remainder of Comiskey's life (he passed away in 1931). This is only the second Chicago White Sox stock certificate dating from the nineteen-twenties that we have ever seen. The fact that is the first certificate issued, not to mention made out, to and signed by Charles Comiskey, makes it one of the most desirable of all baseball stock certificates. The certificate (9.5 x 8 inches; visible area) displays a horizontal and two vertical folds, with tears noticeable along the lengths of the vertical folds (one runs through the Comiskey signature). Although tears and accompanying paper loss are evident along the bottom border, this does not in the least affect the integrity of the certificate and has little impact on the display value of the piece. A diagonal crease runs through the upper left quadrant. The original corresponding receipt slip has been affixed to the certificate along the left border, with the conjoined pair measuring 12.75 x 8 inches. Good condition overall. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 18 x 13 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $2,115
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