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Nolan Ryan Signed Game-Used Baseball From his 4,000th Strikeout Game - Inscribed to Astros Coach Cot Deal
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $711
On July 11, 1985, in a game against the New York Mets at the Houston Astrodome, Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan etched his name in the annals of baseball history by becoming the first pitcher to record 4,000 strikeouts. The feat occurred in the top of the sixth inning, with outfielder Danny Heep the unlucky victim. One individual who had a bird's eye view of the event was Houston Astros coach Cot Deal. Afterwards, Ryan presented a game-used ball from that historic contest to Deal, inscribing it in black ink (grading "9/10") on a side panel "To Cot - I have enjoyed our association together - 7/11/85 - Nolan Ryan. " The official National League (Feeney) ball is moderately soiled and displays a number of small scuffs indicative of game use. Cot Deal was the Astros' outfield coach and defensive coordinator from 1983 to 1985. A career baseball man, he spent forty-eight years in organized baseball, as a player, manager, coach, and executive before officially retiring in 1989. Our consignor obtained this ball a few years ago at the National Convention from a dealer who had purchased a large quantity of jerseys and other memorabilia directly from Deal. While Ryan does not expressly refer to this as a game-used ball from his 4,000th strikeout, given its condition, the personal nature of the inscription, and the fact that Ryan personally recorded that historic date on the ball when he inscribed it, certainly implies that it is. As is the case with all game-used balls, there is always a certain "leap of faith" involved; however, we feel that the leap in this case is quite small. Included with the ball is a vintage 3 x 5-inch index card signed by Cot Deal in blue ink (grading "10") that dates from 1949 when he was a member of the Columbus Red Birds of the American Association (Ex-Mt). This is an outstanding game-used baseball from Ryan's 4,000th strikeout game, with the added provenance of having been personally presented to his coach and friend Cot Deal. Total: 2 items (ball and index card). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $711
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