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Lot # 795 (of 1641)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1930s Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner Signed Baseball

Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $4,740

Official National League (Frick) ball signed on separate side panels by Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. This is an exceedingly rare and desirable pairing of Hall of Fame signatures on a ball and the the first example we can ever recall seeing. Ideally, each player has added an inscription regarding his career. Wagner has inscribed the ball in blue fountain pen "J. Honus Wagner/Played National League 1897/Finished 1917/Coach 1933." Cobb elected to sign his panel in black fountain pen: "Ty Cobb/American league/1905-1928." Wagner's signature and inscription grade "7/8," while Cobb's is slightly lighter, grading "5/6." Cobb and Wagner were not only the two greatest players of their era, but two of the greatest players in baseball history. Both players were members of the Baseball Hall of Fame's inaugural 1936 class (along with Ruth, Mathewson, and Johnson) and nearly eighty years later they were each honored once again with their selection to Baseball's All-Century Team in 2009. This ball dates to the mid 1930s and, unlike nearly all other vintage signed balls, it has a documented history in the form of an accompanying two-page handwritten letter from the original owner. According to his account, he and his younger brother went to a film presentation in San Diego during the 1930s which Cobb and Wagner attended. The film was about each player's respective career and afterwards Cobb and Wagner took the stage and fielded questions from the audience. Following the question-and-answer period, a raffle was held, with a number of lucky winners receiving a ball signed by both legendary players. One of the raffle winners was the gentleman providing the letter, and, as noted by him, he took exceptionally good care of it throughout his life. That fact is clearly evident by the ball's remarkable state of preservation. All of the manufacturer's stampings are bold and legible, and the ball is in Near Mint condition overall. While we cannot state with certainty that this is the only surviving ball signed by Cobb and Wagner (it very well might be), it would not be presumptuous for us to state that at the very least it is the highest-grade example. This is simply an extraordinary ball, in all respects, bearing the signatures of two of baseball's all-time immortals. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,740

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