1925 Joe Giard Signed Ball - On the Sweet Spot!

Sold For: $1,645

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 979

Item Year: 1925

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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This official American League (Johnson) ball, dating from 1925, features the extremely rare signature of pitcher Joe Giard, who, just two years later, gained baseball immortality by becoming a member of the legendary 1927 New York Yankees. Giard's signature, scripted in black fountain pen (grading "6"), appears on the sweet spot along with those of two other players. Because he only played with Yankees that one season, which was his last in the Major Leagues, Giard's signature is universally recognized by collectors to be the "key" to completing any type of 1927 New York Yankees signature collection. It is also exceptionally rare. Giard's signature has been so elusive over the years that for many in the hobby it has become their "Holy Grail." We have seen very few Giard signatures offered for public sale and the example offered here is the first we have ever encountered on a ball outside of a 1927 New York Yankees team ball. The fact that it dates from his 1925 rookie season with the St. Louis Browns, and appears on the sweet spot no less, makes this one of the most incredible Joe Giard signed balls extant. Joining Giard on this ball are the blue or black fountain pen signatures of twenty-one other players, all of whom were members of either the Philadelphia Athletics or St. Louis Browns in 1925. Philadelphia A's: Al Simmons (sweet spot), Bing Miller (sweet spot), Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Dykes, Sammy Hale, Max Bishop, Slim Harris, Jim Poole, Red Smith, Cy Perkins, and Bill Lamar. St. Louis Browns: George Sisler, Ken Williams, Harry Rice, Wally Gerber, Elam Vangilder, Dixie Davis, Dave Danforth, and Chet Falk. There are two other signatures on the ball that are illegible. The signatures range from "3" to "7," averaging "5." Based upon the manufacturer's stampings, this ball was produced between the years 1910 to 1925; however, given the combination of signatures here, it can be conclusively dated to the 1925 season. Not only was 1925 Giard's first season in the Major Leagues, but the players represented here only played together on their respective clubs in 1925. That year also marked Hall of Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane's rookie season, making his signature on the this ball one of the earliest-known examples. The ball is overall very clean, with just light soiling and a few scattered areas of light discoloration. All of the manufacturer's stampings are exceptionally bold and bright. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+.
SOLD FOR $1,645

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