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Lot # 567 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Complete 1959 Fleer Ted Williams Set Autographed (80)

Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $12,760.00

Completely autographed 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set. All 80 cards have been hand signed by Ted Williams with vintage ballpoint pen. This is a simply incredible, possibly unique, and virtually unimprovable completely signed 80-card set, with a unique and fascinating provenance. This 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set was signed by the "Splendid Splinter" in 1972 in the visiting clubhouse of Yankee Stadium for the Yankee batboy on the visiting side. At this time Williams was the manager of the Texas Rangers. There is a very amusing story regarding how this complete set came to be autographed. During the first day of the series between the Yankees and the Senators, the bat boy brought in a hardcover book written by Ted Williams to get signed by the Texas manager. Ted Williams said he had not seen that book in years and nearly begged for the book to give to a friend. The batboy told the manager to take it as a gift. Ted's reply was he would only accept if he could return the favor, and declared that the next day he would sign whatever the batboy brought in to be signed. The next day Ted Williams was sitting in the middle of the clubhouse signing some baseballs at a table. The batboy mustered up the courage to approach Ted about signing his items and Ted, in his loud commanding voice said, "Sure, bring them over here!" It was clear the Skipper thought it would be only a couple of items. The batboy first gave Ted Williams a nice blue ballpoint pen (because Ted most often signed things with a Flair pen and very often on the back of the cards), and then instructed the manager in the middle of the small clubhouse to sign the cards on the front, not the back. Then...all 80 cards were put in front of Ted Williams. Most of the players and coaches knew before "the presentation" to the Skipper the number of cards that would be placed before him to sign, and were eagerly anticipating his reaction. The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop. Ted saw the stack of cards before him and looked up at the batboy. Before Ted could say a word the batboy most sincerely thanked Ted for being so kind and generous for volunteering to sign whatever he brought in. Ted didn't know what to say. He began signing the cards one by one. After a dozen cards, Ted began to speak his mind in short, clipped, partial sentences, in a loud, controlled, mock-angry voice that could be heard throughout the clubhouse, "I'm never going to..." And then he would stop speaking as he signed the next card, before continuing with his protest, "...promise that batboy..." As he finished signing each card, he very deliberately put the just signed card on a pile with the other already signed cards, and with great effort placed another card in front of himself to sign, continuing with his protest. He intermittently stopped speaking as he signed, and then return to complaining loudly as he moved cards around, until all 80 cards had been signed. The clubhouse roared with laughter over and over.The rare and extended clubhouse signing session concluded with Ted announcing something along the lines of "Don't bring me another copy of that book I wrote - I don't want to make any more promises." All 80 cards are signed by Ted Williams and all of the signatures grade a virtually unimprovable "10" on a scale of "1" to "10." 85% of the cards grade Ex to Ex-Mt and 15% grade Vg-Ex (due to slight surface wrinkles). Very close examination of rare card #68 reveals that this card was carefully hand cut from an uncut sheet. The set is accompanied by a letter from the batboy detailing the story of when Ted Williams signed the set for him in the Yankee visiting clubhouse in 1972. Total 80 cards. LOAs from Mike Gutierrez/GAI and James Spence & Steve Grad/PSA DNA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$10,000. SOLD FOR $12,760.00

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