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Rare Casey Stengel Signed Experimental Spalding ONL "5X Center" Ball
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $2,133.00
Official National League Feeney ball signed by Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel. "The Old Professor" has signed the ball in blue ink across the sweet spot, with the signature grading "8/9." James Spence Authentication examined this ball with a video spectral comparator, which allows for the observation of latent writing and/or markings. That examination revealed that a second, very faint signature was removed from a side panel. Examples such as this, while not "single signed" in the literal sense, offer the same aesthetic appeal and serve to fill a real need for many collectors. It must be also noted that the former signature is not visible to the naked eye, so this example displays as a single-signed Stengel ball. What makes this ball unique is that it is a very rare experimental ball that was tested by Major League baseball in the early 1970s. The main differences between this ball and the conventional official National League ball used at the time are its red and blue stitching and the printing above the Spalding logo that reads "The 5X Center." This ball was developed as a livelier version of the conventional ball, with the "5X" indicating that it was 5% livelier. The red and blue stitching was used to easily differentiate it from the normal ball during spring-training games. Use of the ball was short lived, as it was found to be too lively and was discontinued due to safety reasons. Further information about this extremely rare ball can found in an informative article posted on BigLeagueBaseballs.com (http://www.bigleaguebaseballs.com/main/red-blue-cronin/). This is the first time we have seen one of these experimental balls, let alone a signed example. The ball displays a few extremely minor surface blemishes and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $2,133.00
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