On October 10, 1930, just two days after winning the World Series for the second consecutive year, A's pitcher Lefty Grove, along with teammates Rube Walberg, Bing Miller, and Wally Schang, began a three-week barnstorming tour out West. The tour, which was put together by Earl Mack, Connie Mack's son, had already begun a week earlier, and Grove, along with the other members of the A's caught up with the club in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The tour continued west, ending in Los Angeles on October 31st. Offered here is a rare souvenir from that barnstorming tour: a ball used by Lefty Grove in a game on October 19th. The Wilson official "Pacific Coast League" ball has been artistically hand-lettered across the sweet spot (extending into both adjacent side panels) "Used by Lefty Grove/Oct 19th 1930/And Presented to G. Lauder." The stamped facsimile signature of league president Harry A. Williams (1924-1931) appears on a side panel. Unfortunately, the location of the game is not mentioned on the ball, nor have we been able to identify "G. Lauder." In Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games 1901-1962
(McFarland & Company, Inc., North Carolina, 2007), Thomas Barthel writes that Mack's club was documented as having been in Yakima, Washington, on October 14th, but the whereabouts of the club from that date until October 29th, when they arrived in Los Angeles, are not known. Obviously, the club was playing regularly during those two weeks, with the offered ball evidence, albeit incomplete, of its West Coast swing. The ball is moderately toned and displays evidence of game use in the form of minor abrasions and a tiny nick along a side panel. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).
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