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Lot # 967 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1948 Kid Nichols Signed Ball

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,422.00

Official National League (Frick) ball (1946-1951 manufacturing period) signed by Hall of Fame pitcher Kid Nichols in green ink (grading "8") on a side panel . The well-executed signature, scripted "Charles 'Kid' Nichols," encompasses the entire side panel and most of the sweet spot (his entire last name sits almost entirely on the sweet spot). This ball was examined by James Spence Authentication utilizing a video spectral comparator, which allows for the observation of latent writing and/or markings. That examination revealed that a number of unidentified signatures were removed from the ball's side panels. While some collectors may deride the practice of removing or covering signatures, for others the ends justify the means. Kid Nichols' signature on any ball is rare, let alone by itself. In fact, we can only recall having seen just one Kid Nichols single-signed ball at public auction in recent years (which sold for $53,775 in 2011). Kid Nichols single-signed balls are just not available. Given those circumstances, one former collector coped the best way he could: by removing the additional signatures on this ball to create what was otherwise virtually unobtainable. It must be noted that the former signatures are not visible with the naked eye and in all outward appearances this example displays as a single-signed Nichols ball, with no diminishment to its aesthetic appeal. Based upon the label markings, this ball dates to the 1946-1951 manufacturing period. Nichols was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1949 but died four years later, leaving a very short window of opportunity for autograph collectors to obtain his signature. Therefore it is not surprising that this ball dates from very late in his life, when his autograph was at its highest demand. The ball displays a number of moderate surface blemishes, including a few scuffs and abrasions, and most of the manufacturer's stampings are no longer visible (just enough of the ball label remains so that we can both identify and date it). The ball has also been coated with a layer of protective shellac. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,422.00


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