This 1928 first-day cover, commemorating the "First Flight Air Mail Service" between Birmingham, Alabama, and New Orleans, Louisiana, features an exceedingly rare full-name signature of legendary Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner. Wagner has beautifully signed the front of the envelope in black fountain pen, "John Honus Wagner," with the signature grading "10." This is an extraordinary Wagner signature, not only for is flawless execution, but also for the fact that Wagner seldom signed his name in this manner. It is very common to see "J. Honus Wagner" signatures, or John H. Wagner" signatures, but "John Honus Wagner" signatures are virtually unknown. This is the first such example we have ever handled and we cannot recall having seen another. In addition to Wagner's signature, the envelope has also been signed on the front in black fountain pen by the local Birmingham Post Master, and the pilot of the plane that made the first flight. It is not know what connection Wagner had with this flight, but the envelope is addressed to him: "Mr. Honus 'Hans' Wagner/Famous Short Stop of,/Pirates one time,/Pittsburgh, Pa." It is postmarked "Birmingham ALA May 1 1928." The envelope (5.75 x 3.5 inches) is torn open along the left border and is unevenly toned. In Very Good condition overall. Full LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).
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