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Circa 1952 Hugh Duffy Single-Signed Baseball
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $10,073
Exceedingly rare official National League (Giles) ball signed by Hall of Fame outfielder Hugh Duffy on a side panel. In addition to scripting his name in black fountain pen (grading "7"), Duffy has also added the notation "Red Sox" below his signature. This is the first Hugh Duffy single-signed ball we have ever offered and we can only recall having seen one other example at public auction in the past twelve years. Interestingly, on that other example Duffy also added the notation "Boston Red Sox" below his name. Based upon the manufacturer's stampings, this ball dates between the years 1952 and 1969. Since Duffy died in 1954 at the age of eighty-eight, it was obviously signed by him during the final two years of his life. Incredibly, Duffy was still actively working in baseball at that time. After managing the Red Sox in 1921 and 1922 he remained employed with the club as a scout right up until the time of his death. Duffy, of course, spent the better part of his major league career in Boston as a member of both the American Association Reds (1891) and the National League Beaneaters (1892-1900). During his nine seasons with the Beaneaters, Duffy led the National League in batting twice, including a record .440 during his Triple Crown season of 1894. Duffy retired in 1906 with a .324 career average, but wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame until 1945. The combination of the short period of time between Duffy's Hall of Fame induction and his death, and the fact that at the time single-signed balls had yet to be considered by collectors as the ideal form of a player's signature, has resulted in the great rarity of Duffy singles today. The panel upon which Duffy's signature sits has been coated with a moderate layer of protective shellac and all of the manufacturer's stampings remain bold and legible. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $10,073
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