Circa 1930 Mickey Cochrane Single-Signed Ball

Sold For: $4,406

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 997

Item Year: 1930

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Exceptional Mickey Cochrane single-signed ball dating from his tenure with the Philadelphia Athletics. Cochrane has signed the official American League (Barnard) ball in black fountain pen across the sweet spot, with the signature grading "7" overall. Ernest Barnard was only president of the American League from October 7, 1927, through the time of his death, on March 27, 1931; therefore it is reasonable to assume that this ball was signed sometime between the years 1928 and 1931 (the years his name would have appeared on the ball). If so, this ball dates to the height of Connie Mack's last great Philadelphia Athletics dynasty (1929-1931), a three year-period that saw the club win three consecutive pennants and two World Championships. Cochrane was one of Mack's top stars during that championship run, batting .331, .357, and .349, respectively, from 1929 through 1931. Long regarded as the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history (.320 lifetime average), Cochrane was also noted for his ability to call a game and handle pitchers. Only Jim Hegan has had more twenty-win battery mates than Cochrane, whose keen baseball acumen later made him one of the best managers in the league. In 1937 Cochrane was hit in the head by a pitched ball that fractured his skull in three places. The injury, which left him unconscious for ten day, effectively ended his career at the age of thirty-four. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1947. Cochrane's signature alone on a baseball is rare, especially one dating from his active playing career. Cochrane passed away in 1962 at the age of fifty-nine, long before autographs in general, and single-signed balls in particular, became high-priced commodities. We have seen very few Mickey Cochrane single-signed balls over the years and this the first we can ever recall offering. This is an extraordinary and significant single-signed baseball rarity. All of the manufacturer's stampings are bold and legible, and the ball displays only light-to-moderate surface wear. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $4,406

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