1944-1945 Official All American Girls Professional Baseball League Ball in Original Box

Sold For: $2,963

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1076

Item Year: 1944

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Rare official All American Girls Professional Baseball League ball ("No. 100"), measuring 11.5 inches in circumference, produced by MacGregor Goldsmith for use during the 1944 and 1945 seasons. The facsimile signature of Hall of Fame outfielder Max Carey appears on a side panel in his capacity as president of the league. According to the official web site of the AAGPBL (http://www.aagpbl.org/), the 11.5-inch circumference ball was only used in league play for very short period of time. It was introduced in mid season of 1944 and remained the official-size ball through the 1945 season. Prior to that time the league used a slightly larger 12-inch circumference ball and in 1946 switched to a smaller 11-inch circumference ball. The offered ball is not only exceedingly scarce (we have never seen another 11.5-inch example) but an outstanding example in terms of condition as well. Aside from one or two extremely tiny age spots, the ball remains in Mint condition and has never been used. The original box (Ex-Mt) retains all of its paper labels and is free of any significant defects. This is an extraordinary ball in all respects and possibly the finest example extant.
The All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), which was immortalized in the classic baseball film A League of Their Own , was formed in 1943 and remained in operation until 1954. The league was the brainchild of Philip Wrigley, chewing-gum magnate and owner of the Chicago Cubs, who was searching for an alternative to men's professional baseball after the sport lost so many players to the war effort. The league was originally formed as a nonprofit organization and began play in 1943 with teams in four Midwest cities: Racine and Knosha, Wisconsin: Rockford, Illinois: and South Bend, Indiana. Popular with fans, the league operated successfully for a number of years even after the war ended. Today, the league's history serves as the focal point of the Baseball Hall of Fame's permanent exhibit Women In Baseball . This is both a rare and historically important artifact relating to one of the most interesting chapters in baseball history. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $2,963

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