1957 Sam Crawford Single-Signed Ball Signed on HOF Induction Day

Sold For: $5,288

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1067

Item Year: 1957

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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MacGregor "Ralph Kiner League" ball signed by Hall of Fame outfielder "Wahoo Sam" Crawford. Crawford has inscribed the ball in blue ink (grading "8/9") on a side panel "Wahoo Sam Crawford/Hall of Fame July 22-57." Crawford was inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 22, 1957, and his inclusion of the exact month and day here, as opposed to just the year, all but guarantees that he signed it on that very date in Cooperstown. Crawford, like a number of other prominent "dead ball" era stars, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame decades after his career ended and just shortly before his death in 1968. For that reason, single-signed Sam Crawford balls are rare. Although often overshadowed during his career by Ty Cobb, "Wahoo Sam" was one of the game's top hitters during the early 1900s. Crawford batted over .300 in eleven of his nineteen seasons and finished his career with a .309 lifetime average. Crawford is best remembered today as the career leader in triples with 302, but even the most astute historians might be surprised to learn that at the time of his retirement in 1917 Crawford was the American League's all-time leader in home runs with 70. He was also the first player in history to lead both the American and National League in home runs during his career (Mark McGwire is the only other player to accomplish that feat). Even so, Crawford would probably still be forgotten by most fans if he had not been immortalized in Lawrence Ritter's classic baseball book The Glory of Their Times . The ball is slightly toned with a few tiny areas of light discoloration. This is an exceptional dated Sam Crawford single-signed baseball in Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $5,288

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