Multi-Signed Baseball with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Dizzy and Daffy Dean

Sold For: $5,288

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 991

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Official American League (Barnard) ball signed in black fountain pen by seven former players: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Dizzy Dean, Paul Dean, George McBride, and Ralph Shinners. Ruth's signature (grading "6") occupies its customary place of honor upon the sweet spot, while Gehrig's ("6/7") shares a side panel with that of McBride ("7/8"). Ideally, the signatures of Dizzy Dean ("6") and his brother Paul ("6/7") appear together on the east panel. The remaining two side panels are decorated, respectively, by the signatures of Simmons ("6") and Shinners ("5/6"). This ball dates from approximately the 1928-1931 manufacturing period, but given the combination of signatures, it was probably signed over a period of years. The active playing careers of both Shinners and McBride ended prior to 1926, while those of Dizzy and Paul Dean did not begin until the 1930s (McBride was later a coach with the Tigers, in 1925, 1926, and 1929). Although we will never know the circumstances of its signing, the fact that the ball displays the signatures of both Ruth and Gehrig, and also features the Dean brothers together on a side panel, makes it an extremely desirable signed display piece and one of the most interesting examples we have ever seen from the era. The ball displays light soiling, as well as a number of small abrasions, many of which slightly touch upon the signatures (the abrasions were taken into consideration when grading the signatures). All of the manufacturer's stampings remain bold and legible with the exception of Barnard's facsimile signature (light). In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $5,288


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