Pair of Rare 1941 Dizzy Dean Broadsides

Sold For: $360

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1941

Item Year: 1941

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Pair of exceedingly rare broadsides heralding the arrival of "The 'One' and 'Only' Great Dizzy Dean" at Barnett Field in Fargo, North Dakota, on Sunday, August 17th. As noted here, Dean was not simply making an appearance, but was participating in the game: "Dizzy Dean will pitch for the Fargo-Moorehead Twins against the Grand Forks Chiefs in a regular Northern League Game." A further notice along the base reads "Anticipating Largest Baseball Crowd in History of North Dakota." That prediction proved to be correct, as 4,100 fans turned out to see Dean that day, with the attendance reported to be one of the largest ever to see a ball game in that part of the country. Although the broadside does not list a year, research confirms that the game took place in 1941. Dean had retired from major league baseball on May 14, 1941, and, after a very brief stint as a coach with the Cubs, he accepted a radio-announcing job with the St. Louis Cardinals in July of that year. Despite his steady employment as an announcer, Dean still made his pitching services available to minor-league clubs looking to cash in on his popularity. If a team were willing to pay his travel expenses and turn over 40% of its gate receipts, then any minor-league or semipro team could have Dizzy Dean suit up and take the mound for a brief pitching stint. The game in Fargo, on August 17th, appears to be the last of Dean's three minor-league appearances in 1941. The record shows that Dean allowed just one hit in three innings of work, allowing no runs. Apparently, either Dean's popularity waned or his radio schedule increased in 1942, because we can find only one such minor-league pitching appearance for him that year, and none afterwards. Needless to say, these are the only broadsides we have ever seen from Dean's one-game appearance with Fargo. They were discovered by our consignor among a number of period baseball broadsides, all of which were for minor-league or semipro games in the area. Each broadside (12 x 18 inches), which is printed on thin-paper stock, displays a single horizontal and vertical fold. One displays a tiny speck of discoloration to the left of Dean's image, while the other has a tiny edge tear along the base; otherwise, both are in Excellent condition overall, which is remarkable given their age and extremely fragile nature. Total: 2 broadsides.

Reserve $200. Estimate (open).

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