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Lot # 1077 (of 1727)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1952 Ty Cobb Signed Check

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $823

Counter check, dated 7/31/52, signed by Hall of Fame outfielder Ty Cobb. The check, drawn on the First National Bank of Nevada, is made out to "Cash" in the amount of $400 and is signed "Tyrus R. Cobb" in blue ink (grading "10"). The stamped endorsement on the reverse reads "North Shore Club - Crystal Bay, Nevada." The North Shore Club was a casino located close to Cobb's retirement home in Lake Tahoe. While we have never read or heard of Cobb having a gambling problem, it is interesting that this is now the second Cobb check we have seen in payment to a casino. Even more coincidental is that the date of the other check, which appeared as Lot 1003 in our May 2009 auction, was 8/12/52, just twelve days from the time of this check. Apparently, Cobb was trying his luck at a number of local casinos that summer and, as evidenced here, was finding none. Given Cobb's fiery nature and the fact that he abhorred losing, we can only imagine that it must have been a very uncomfortable situation for both the other patrons and the North Shore staff that evening. While there is nothing illegal about patronizing casinos, just the fact that Cobb liked to gamble gives some credence to Dutch Leonard's claim that in 1919 Cobb and Tris Speaker "fixed" a game that they had bet on. That scandal, which broke after the 1926 season, was eventually swept under the rug by commissioner Landis. However, as suggested by this check, perhaps there may have been some truth behind the allegations after all. The check (8 x 3 inches) displays normal bank cancellation holes and stamps; otherwise it is in Excellent condition. Accompanying the check is a Western Union telegram (8 x 5.75 inches), dated September 28, 1940, from Cobb to Tigers manager Del Baker. It reads in full: "Congratulations you and team have done a great job for a great city fans and ownership all of which desires a winner go on and win the World Series = Ty Cobb." (Vg). Total: 2 items (check and telegram). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800.


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