Elmer Flick Single-Signed Ball

Sold For: $4,406

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1107

Item Year: 1977

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Spalding "Official Tri-County League" ball signed by Hall of Fame outfielder Elmer Flick. Flick has signed the ball in blue ink (grading "9") on a side panel. Elmer Flick's career spanned the years 1899 through 1910, but this ball was obviously signed during his later years, as evidenced by the somewhat shaky penmanship displayed here. Research indicates that this ball was manufactured during the 1960s. Since Flick passed away in 1971 at the age of ninety-five, he was probably in his late eighties/early nineties when he signed this ball. Although one of the major stars of his era, Flick probably signed more balls during the last eight years of his life than he did in all the previous years. The reason for that is simple: he was not inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame until 1962. Prior to that he was largely forgotten by most fans, which is a shame, for he was one of the game's best all-around players at the turn of the century. A lifetime .313 hitter, he batted a career-high .367 in 1900 but finished second behind Honus Wagner for the batting title. Ironically, in 1905 he won the American League batting title with a .308 average, which was the lowest mark to capture the title until Carl Yastrzmeski's .301 average in 1968. Small in stature, but fleet afoot, Flick was well suited to the "dead ball" era style of play. In 1902 he became the first player to hit three triples in a game, a feat he later duplicated. He later set a record by leading the American League in triples for three consecutive seasons (1905-1907) and twice led the American League in stolen bases. Perhaps the finest testament to Flick's ability on the field is the fact that following the 1907 season Detroit Tigers manager Hughie Jennings attempted to trade Ty Cobb, the league's reigning batting champion, even up, for Flick: Cleveland declined the offer. The ball displays a few very tiny surface marks and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000+. SOLD FOR $4,406

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