1976 Thurman Munson Signed Photo (Signed August 1st, 1976!)
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $3,525
Original black-and-white photo (8 x 10 inches) of Thurman Munson, signed by the former Yankees' captain in blue Sharpie (grading "10") on the front. This photo has the special provenance of having been personally signed by Munson for our consignor (an avid autograph collector in his youth) on August 1, 1976, in Boston. Ideally, it is accompanied by a detailed one-page letter in which he describes the somewhat humorous circumstances regarding their meeting on a busy Boston street. In part:
On the morning of Sunday, August 1, 1976 my brother and I decided to get an early start and were lucky enough to get permission to take a car into the Boston Sheraton which meant we were parking just up the street from the hotel at about 9:30AM rather than getting off a subway an hour later. As we were getting out of the car my brother half whispered "Hey, that's Munson walking up the other side of the street." Sure enough, Thurman was taking a leisurely stroll to Fenway on a Sunday morning; but to us he was getting away. We quickly grabbed our stuff and started to jog up the street saying "Mr. Munson" repeatedly (we didn't want to yell as that would be a quick way to get kicked out of the area for the day by the hotel staff). Thurman looked over his shoulder and quickened from a leisurely walk to a fast walk. I suppose he saw a couple of kids, both about 6' (the Baseball Reference has Thurman listed at 5'11" - I don't remember him being that tall) and maybe wanted to make a busy street. Eventually I think he realized we were saying "Mr. Munson," not exactly the threatening words of muggers, and stopped. When we caught up with him he signed 2 of the 8x10 B&W glossy photos for me and 2 other items for my brother and told us "Have a good day, boys." Making it clear the autograph session was over.
The Yankees had a 2:00 pm game with the Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 1, 1976. Munson had one hit (his tenth home run of the season) and two RBI in the Yankees 5-4 loss that afternoon. 1976, of course, was Munson's finest overall season. In addition to driving in a career-high 105 runs, Munson also batted .302 with 17 home runs. Those numbers not only helped lead the Yankees to their first pennant in twelve years, but also earned Munson the American League MVP Award at season's end.
The photo, which pictures Munson in uniform at Fenway Park, is in strong Excellent condition. (The reverse has a stray marker notation and the faint hint of lines from being stored in a photo album, both of no consequence and mentioned strictly for the sake extreme accuracy). This is an incredible signed Munson photo! Munson, as most collectors are aware, was never known as a prolific signer during his playing career and normally shunned the attention of the fans. That fact, combined with his untimely death in 1979 at the age of thirty-two, has resulted in the scarcity of Munson-signed items today. This is not only an outstanding Munson signed photo, but one that is accompanied by the provenance of having been personally signed for our consignor during Munson's 1976 MVP season. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $3,525