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Lot # 483 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

The Only Eddie Gaedel Signed Photograph Known To Exist

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $6,960.00

Baseball was never the same after Eddie Gaedel stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter on August 19, 1951, at the direction of St. Louis Browns' owner Bill Veeck, to face Detroit's Bob Cain. Gaedel walked, midgets were immediately banned from the game, and baseball history was richer by an immortal image of Gaedel at bat with catcher Bob Swift behind. This 1946 Eddie Gaedel signed real-photo postcard is the only signed photograph of Eddie Gaedel (1925-1961) known to exist. During WWII, Gaedel was able to work on important airplane repairs that could be done only by a person of his small size. Immediately after the war Gaedel worked as the mascot for Mercury records, dressed in a bell hop uniform and making promotional appearances. This postcard dates from 1946 and pictures a smiling Eddie standing at attention in his Mercury Records uniform. It is signed "Eddie Gaedel" ("6") across the front in blue ballpoint pen. Though the last three letters of his first name do not contrast particularly well against the dark background of his pants, the signature is a beautiful and clean example. The reverse identifies him as "Little Eddie, The Mercury Man" and has a brief biography which includes his date of birth (June 8, 1925), age (21 years), height (3' 7"), and weight ("56 pounds, but packs a lot of dynamite in his small body"). This photo once belonged to Eddie Gaedel, who sent it to a fan with a letter which read in part, "This is the only picture I have of myself in a uniform and I like [sic] you to have it.... Here's a picture of me not in very nice condition—destroy it if you don't want it...." A previous owner sold the letter separately, but a copy of it accompanies this photo. Gaedel was notorious for his surly disposition and was rarely interested in even talking to fans, let alone signing for them. This may explain why Gaedel signatures are virtually nonexistent, with literally fewer than ten examples known. Gaedel worked at the locally famous Midget Club on Chicago's Southside. He was mugged and murdered in 1961, ten years after his historic Major League appearance, on his way home from work. The postcard has several creases and a stain on the right border. It is in overall Good condition, and is almost certainly in the identical condition as when Gaedel gave it away ("Here's a picture of me not in very nice condition-destroy it if you don't want it"). As noted, Gaedel's autograph is exceedingly rare, and this is the only known signed image of this very famous and unusual baseball legend. LOAs from Mike Gutierrez/GAI and James Spence & Steve Grad/PSA DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $6,960.00

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