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Lot # 1751 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot |

1946 Eddie Gaedel Signed Real-Photo Postcard - Newly Discovered! One of Only Two Known to Exist!

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,288

Extraordinarily rare newly-discovered Eddie Gaedel signed real-photo postcard; one of only two examples known to exist! This example is a new discovery to the organized collecting world. It has been consigned directly from a non collector whose family was from Chicago (where Gaedel lived) and whose uncle was a building contractor (and owner of a sash and door shop in Chicago on Archer Avenue). His uncle did work for the Gaedel family and was personal friends with Eddie Gaedel. He has provided a brief letter of provenance detailing the history of the piece (the letter can be viewed on our website). It is our consignor's recollection that after meeting the Gaedels, Eddie Gaedel actually worked for his uncle. To the best of our knowledge, this 1946 Eddie Gaedel signed real-photo promotional postcard is one of only two signed photographs of Eddie Gaedel (1925-1961) known to exist. Both are identical in style (promoting Gaedel as "The Mercury Man" for Mercury Records). The other example, which was in FAR poorer condition, appeared as Lot 483 in Robert Edward Auctions' April 2005 sale, where it realized a final sales price of $6,960.

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.

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 boldly signed "Best Wishes/Eddie Gaedel" across the front in blue fountain pen, with the signature grading "9." 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"). 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 (3.25 x 5 inches) is in Excellent to Mint condition. It is a remarkable discovery and is by far the finest of the two known examples. LOA from James Spence/JSA.Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,288

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