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1976 Who's Who in Baseball - Signed by 735 Players, Including DiMaggio, T. Williams, and Koufax
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,659
1976 edition of Who's Who in Baseball (Harris Press, New York), edited by Seymour Siwoff, signed on the interior by an incredible 682 of the 690 players listed, plus an additional fifty-three former players, for a total of 735 signatures. That is not a misprint! Seven-Hundred and Thirty-Five Signatures! Needless to say, this is the most complete signed example of Who's Who in Baseball, from any year, that we have ever seen. Thirty-seven Hall of Fame players are represented here, as well as many "tough" signatures from the era, including Thurman Munson, Lyman Bostock, and Dick Allen. The eight players whose signatures are not represented in the book are Vida Blue, Thomas Hausman, Catfish Hunter, Jim Konieczny, Lawrence Milbourne, Darrell Porter, Boog Powell, and John Stearns. It must be noted that James Spence Authentication has deemed a very small number of the signatures represented here, approximately five percent, "clubhouse" versions, including those of Aaron, Northup, Kekic, and McGlothen. All of the signatures (penned in a variety of inks) grade between "7" and "10," with the vast majority grading "9" or "10." The Hall of Fame signatures in the book are those of Bench, Blyleven, Brett, Brock, Carew, Carlton, Carter, DiMaggio, Drysdale, Eckersley, Fingers, Fisk, Gossage, R. Jackson, Jenkins, Koufax, McCovey, Morgan, Niekro, Palmer, Perez, Perry, Rice, B. Robinson, F. Robinson, Ryan, Schmidt, Seaver (twice), Spahn, Stargell, Sutton, B. Williams, D. Williams, T. Williams, Winfield, Yastrzemski, and Yount. All of the then-retired players represented here have signed the book on either the title page, the page between the listing of the position players and the pitchers, or the last page. The assembly of the signatures in this book was obviously a labor of love, especially when one considers the time and effort it must have taken to acquire all of the signatures contained within. The design of the book, which features small portrait photos and brief biographies of all of the Major League players for the year, is an especially appealing format for autograph collectors. Even if one excluded all of the deceased players whose signatures appear here, it would probably take years, not to mention tens of thousands of dollars (taking into consideration signing fees and travel costs) to replicate this book today. Nearly all of the players have signed the book next to their respective entry. Black electrical tape has been applied completely over both covers in repair of their separation from the spine (understandable given how many times this book was opened and closed for players to sign). Both the first and last pages of the books display a number of small tears, but the remaining pages are all generally clean and bright. In Very Good condition. This is an extraordinary signed piece and one that all alone represents a virtually comprehensive advanced 1970s autograph collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $1,659
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