1924 World Tour Team-Signed Sheet with Jennings, McGraw (twice), Evers, and Walsh
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,851
This large-format team-signed sheet, featuring the signatures of twenty-three members of the 1924 Chicago White Sox/New York Giants World Tour, is notable both for the number of significant Hall of Famers represented and its extraordinary provenance. The ten Hall of Fame signatures present on the sheet are those of Hughie Jennings (exceedingly rare; he died in 1928), John McGraw (two examples), Charles Comiskey, Johnny Evers, Ed Walsh, Casey Stengel, Dave Bancroft, Sam Rice, and Travis Jackson. The remaining fourteen player signatures are those of Irish Meusel, Heinie Groh, Willie Kamm, Bibb Falk, Ray Morehart, Muddy Ruel, Johnny Mostil, John Clancy, Stuffy McInnis, Art Nehf, Butch Henline, Jack Bentley, Bubber Jonnard, and Charley Robertson. The sheet is also signed by ten other individuals who were present on the tour, including the ship captain. All of the signatures have been scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9" or "10."
Amazingly, this piece was only just recently discovered in an album once belonging to Robert Boyd, who was a sportswriter for the Evening World in New York City and a press correspondent on the 1924 World Tour. It has been consigned directly by his great nephew, who has provided a signed letter of provenance detailing the history of the piece. Also accompanying the team sheet are a vintage two-page typed press release (presumably written by Boyd), dated "Oct. 24," which provides the tour itinerary for the England leg of the trip, and a one-page typed letter, addressed to Boyd, dated January 8, 1925, from "Bank Tours" of Paris, which verifies the delivery of photographs taken of the world tourists during their stay in France.
The 1924 World Tour was the third such tour made by the New York Giants and Chicago White Sox, with the first two having taken place in 1913-1914 and 1917, respectively. The goal of the 1913-1914 tour was twofold: to exhibit the game in Europe as played by the top professionals of the day and to help popularize the sport throughout the world. Like the previous two trips made by the clubs, the nucleus of each roster consisted of members of the Giants and White Sox, but each lineup was augmented by players from other Major League clubs. The tour took the clubs to seven countries, including England, France, Italy, and Germany, and was highly celebrated at the time. It must be noted that world baseball tours were very infrequent, and the 1924 tour marked the last one made by the Giants and White Sox. The next major world tour did not occur until 1931, when an all-star contingent, led by Lou Gehrig, traveled to Japan. For that reason any and all material relating to world baseball tours is extremely rare. This is a remarkable souvenir from that famous tour, made all the more significant by its ironclad provenance.
The team-signed sheet (9 x 11.5 inches), on heavy paper stock, displays a tiny strip of light adhesive residue along the right border (as a result of its removal from the album) and minor handling wear, including a tiny chip in the upper right corner. In Excellent condition overall. The two-page press release (8 x 10 inches), on onionskin, displays a number of border tears and creases, as well as age spotting. In Good to Very Good condition. The "Bank Tours" letter (8.25 x 10.5 inches), on "Bank Tours" letterhead, displays a horizontal and vertical mailing fold, and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. Total: 4 items (team-signed sheet, press release, "Bank Tours" letter, and letter of provenance from the consignor). Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,851