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Vintage Baseball Scrapbook with 32 Autographs Including Cobb, Young, Lajoie, and Speaker
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $2,251.50
This vintage baseball scrapbook, which was compiled between the years 1938 and 1954, contains mostly newspaper clippings but is highlighted by the inclusion of thirty-two autographs, including Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Nap Lajoie, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, and Jocko Conlan. The Cobb autograph in particular is especially interesting because of what it appears on. The owner of this scrapbook apparently wrote to Cobb in 1927, when both he and Tris Speaker found themselves under investigation by Commissioner Landis for allegations of conspiring to "throw" a game in 1919. Both players vehemently denied the charge and public sentiment was firmly on the side of Cobb and Speaker. During the time of the investigation, many fans wrote to the players to offer their support. The original owner of the scrapbook was obviously one of them, based upon the signed card from Cobb that appears on one of the pages. The small, white card (5.5 x 4 inches) bears the preprinted message "Dear Sir: Your letter was received. I want you to know I appreciated deeply your thoughts and sentiments. It was very consoling to know the attitude of my friends during the unfair and unfortunate proceedings. Sincerely, Ty Cobb [signed]." Cobb's signature has been scripted in black fountain pen and grades "9/10." The date, "1927," is written in pencil at the base of the card. Obviously, the volume of mail Cobb received precluded a personal written response, so he had these preprinted cards made up to ensure that he properly offered his thanks to his supporters. This is the first example of this particular card we have seen and one that marks a highly significant moment in Cobb's legendary career. (Both Cobb and Speaker were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing by Commissioner Landis.) The card displays four small, cut newspaper clippings related to Cobb on the front and has been mounted to the album page; it is otherwise in Excellent condition. The remaining Hall of Fame autographs in the album are as follows: 1) Tris Speaker. Cut signature (black fountain pen, "9/10"). There is also another Speaker item that features a stamped facsimile signature. It is a small, typewritten note (5.25 x 2.75 inches) that reads "Dear Mr. Duncan: Just a note to thank you for your kindness during my recent injury. I am sure you will be glad to know that my recovery is complete with no ill effect. With kindest regards, Sincerely yours, Tris Speaker [facsimile stamped signature]." Like the Cobb card, the note bears two newspaper clippings relating to Speaker affixed to the front. 2) Cy Young (cut, inscribed in blue fountain pen "Very best wishes/from/Cy Young/Peoli O," "10"). 3) Larry Lajoie (cut, black fountain pen, "8/9"). 4) Jocko Conlan (cut, pencil, "10"). Additionally, there are twenty-eight other signatures in the album, nearly all of which are individual cuts of Major League players, including Hans Lobert, Johnny Vander Meer, Bucky Walters, Ed Heusser, Elmer Riddle, Hank Sauer, Len Rice, and Harry Geisel (umpire). Signatures, signed mainly in pencil, grade "9" on average. All of the signed cuts, cards, and notes are mounted on album pages (presumably by glue) with the exception of the Lajoie cut (the consignor removed it at one point to use in framed display. It is now back with the album, but loose). As noted on the interior front cover, this hard-bound album (11 x 14.5 inches) belonged to a gentleman named Charles K. Duncan, who was born in 1868 and died in 1965 at the age of ninety-seven. Both covers and all of the album pages are separated from the spine and are currently housed in separate plastic sleeves for optional display and presentation. The covers are heavily worn and the pages are brittle, displaying a number of edge chips and tears. All of the clippings and cuts remain in Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,500+. SOLD FOR $2,251.50
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