Rare 1929 New York Yankees Team-Signed Ball with Ruth, Gehrig, and Huggins

Sold For: $9,480

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 796

Item Year: 1929

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Official American League (Barnard) ball signed in black fountain pen by the following sixteen members of the 1929 New York Yankees: Ruth (sweet spot, grading "8'), Gehrig ("8"), Huggins (Mgr., "6/7"), Lazzeri, Dickey, Combs, Meusel, Koenig, Rhodes, Robertson, Burns, Johnson, Grabowski, Shawkey (coach), Bengough, and Fletcher (coach). Signatures range from "4" to "8," averaging "6/7." This ball is notable for a number of reasons, most important of which is the presence of Miller Huggins' signature. Rarely found on Yankees team balls, Huggins' signature on this particular ball is all the more significant for the fact that it probably represents one of the last balls the Hall of Fame manager ever signed. Huggins was in poor health in 1929 and he passed away on September 25th at the age of fifty. Since George Burns' contract was sold to Philadelphia on June 19, 1929, we know that this ball dates from the early part of the season, when Huggins was still in moderately good health and more conducive to signing. This is the ONLY 1929 New York Yankees team-signed ball, featuring the signatures of Ruth, Gehrig, and Huggins, that we can ever recall seeing. Further distinguishing this ball is its outstanding provenance. This ball originates from the family of Edgar Lewis Wadelton Jr., who was a student at Iona School (which later became Iona College) in New Rochelle, New York, in the late 1920s. According to the accompanying one-page letter (dated 6/5/10) signed by his daughter, Wadelton won a writing contest at Iona in 1929, and first prize was a trip to Yankee Stadium to see the "Bronx Bombers" play. It was during that trip to the stadium that he obtained all of the signatures on this ball personally. This ball has never appeared at public auction. Its status as a family heirloom of the Wadelton family all these years is the reason for its fine state of preservation today. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain clearly legible and the ball is in Excellent condition overall. This is an exceptional and rare New York Yankees team ball signed by Ruth and Gehrig, and by Miller Huggins during his final season. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,480


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