Extraordinary 1933 American League All-Star Team-Signed Ball with Ruth, Gehrig, and Twelve Other Hall of Fame Players (Total 20 Signatures)

Sold For: $38,513

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 13

Item Year: 1933

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Presented is the finest 1933 All-Star signed ball that we have ever seen or had the privilege of offering. Very few 1933 All-Star balls are known to exist. This gem has seen the auction block only once before, at Christie's approximately twenty years ago, and has been consigned by the original purchaser at that auction. The 1933 All-Star Game was the brainchild of Arch Ward, sports editor of the Chicago Tribune , who thought that a game matching the best players from each league would serve as one of the highlights to the city's summer-long Century of Progress Exposition. He was right, of course, and the game proved so popular that it became one of Baseball's most important annual traditions. Offered here is one of the most remarkable souvenirs imaginable from the inaugural 1933 midsummer classic: a baseball in spectacular high grade signed by nearly every member of the winning American League club. The official American League (Harridge) ball has been signed in black fountain pen by the following nineteen members of the American League team: Babe Ruth (sweet spot, "8"), Lou Gehrig ("8/9"), Connie Mack (Mgr.), Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez, Charlie Gehringer, Rick Ferrell, Joe Cronin, Earl Averill, Al Simmons, Eddie Collins (coach), Ben Chapman, Sam West, Wes Ferrell, General Crowder, Oral Hildebrand, and Jimmie Dykes. The ball has also been signed in black fountain pen by New York Yankees team owner Jacob Ruppert. Signatures range from "6" to "9," averaging "8," with the exception of Averill ("3") and Mack ("5," partially on top of the ball label). This is the most complete 1933 American League All-Star team-signed balls we have ever seen. Of the eighteen players on the team, only the signature of Tony Lazzeri is missing for completion. The American League defeated its National League rivals in the first All-Star Game, by a score of 4-2, with Ruth, fittingly, hitting the first home run in the game's storied history. The ball is naturally toned throughout, but all of the signatures still contrast exceptionally well against the slightly darker background. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain exceptionally bold and distinct. Without reference to the natural toning, the ball is in Excellent to Mint condition. This is a most exceptional and historically significant 1933 American League All-Star team ball, by any measure one of the finest in existence, with regard to both completeness and condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $38,513

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