1939 Inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Class Signed First-Day Cover - PSA/DNA MINT 9 - Signed by Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Young, and Others

Sold For: $144,000

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1496

Item Year: 1939

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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The 1939 Baseball Centennial, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the "birth" of baseball, was a yearlong celebration highlighted by the dedication of the Baseball Hall of Fame on June 12th. Of the 25 players who were being inducted into the Hall of Fame on that day, only 11 were were still alive, all of whom were able to attend the ceremony. This remarkable 1939 Centennial of Baseball first-day cover has been signed by on the front by each of those eleven inaugural inductees, plus Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Landis. Encapsulated by PSA/DNA, with the signatures graded "MINT 9" on average. This is one of fewer than six 1939 first-day covers we have seen featuring the signatures of all eleven inaugural inductees, and it would be hard to imagine a finer example. The piece is highlighted by one of the finest Babe Ruth signatures one will ever encounter. Scripted in blue fountain pen, Ruth's signature practically jumps off the envelope and grades a perfect "10." The remaining signatures, scripted in either blue, black, or green fountain pen, are those of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Cy Young, Larry Lajoie, George Sisler, Walter Johnson, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Grover Alexander, Connie Mack, and Kenesaw Landis. There is one remaining illegible signature on the envelope (bearing the notation "P. M." below it) that appears to be that of the local Cooperstown postmaster. It should be noted that the Cy Young signature obscures the first part of Walter Johnson's name; otherwise all of the signatures, as noted by PSA/DNA' average grade of MINT 9, are exceptionally bright and bold. Postmarked "Cooperstown N. Y. Jun 12 1939 9-AM." A Baseball Centennial 3-cent stamp is affixed in the upper right corner and bears a "First Day of Issue" cancellation stamp. The envelope is neatly addressed in yellow ink to "Miss Doris Viola Wunder/123 No. David Street/New Orleans/Louisiana." Interestingly, this is one of many signed first-day covers, relating to various events, addressed to "Miss Doris Viola Wunder" we have seen, all of which were obtained by her father, Paul Wunder, who was an early prominent autograph collector. The envelope (6.5 x 3.75 inches) displays very light toning and is in Excellent to Mint condition overall. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $20,000++.


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