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Circa 1936 Jim Bottomley Signed Ball
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $533.25
Official American League (Harridge) ball signed by Hall of Fame first baseman "Sunny Jim" Bottomley. Bottomley has signed the ball in black fountain pen on a side panel, 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 this was originally a team-signed ball which was then professionally painted over, leaving only the Bottomley signature on a side panel. It should be noted that the process was well done and none of the other signatures are visible with the naked eye. The removal or covering of signatures on baseballs has become more common but is still the province of only a few skilled practitioners. While many purists deride such practices there are also collectors who welcome the service. Single-signed balls did not become the ideal for autograph collectors until the late 1980s/early 1990s. As a result, acquiring single-signed balls for many of the early Hall of Famers is quite difficult for the average collector due to their rarity and exorbitant prices. Examples such as this, while not "single signed" in the literal sense, offer the same aesthetic appeal and provide a more economical alternative to a true single-signed ball for many collectors. This ball dates from the 1934-1939 manufacturing period. Given that it is an official American League ball, it seems reasonable to assume that this was probably a St. Louis Browns team-signed ball dating from either 1936 or 1937, which was Bottomley's final season in the majors. (Bottomley only played in the American League during his final two seasons in baseball.) Despite the ball's cosmetic treatment it displays beautifully as a Bottomley single, with no other signatures visible. While this ball will sell at a significant discount compared to a true Bottomley single, in terms of display value there is little or no difference, and many collectors would welcome it as a fine representative example for their Hall of Fame single-signed ball collection. The ball, aside from the painting, displays a Near Mint appearance. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000.
SOLD FOR $533.25
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