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Lot # 748 (of 1137)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1948 Frank Baker (Trappe Ball Team Tri-County League) Signed Ball

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,185

Baseball (no manufacturer's stampings visible) signed across the sweet spot by Frank "Home Run" Baker. Baker has scripted his name, "J. Frank Baker" in black ink, grading "8." Appearing on the opposite sweet spot is the printed blue-ink notation "Trappe Ball Team/Trappe, Md/Tri-County League." The remaining panels feature the signatures of nine individuals, two of whom have added the notation "1948" below their names. Presumably, the nine individuals who signed the ball were members of the local Trappe ball club participating in the Tri-County League. Baker was born in Trappe, Maryland, and lived there his entire life. As noted in his biography on the SABR website, Baker was very active in community affairs: "Continuing to work the family farms while raising his four children, Baker also served his community on the Trappe Town Board, acted as tax collector, was director of the State Bank of Trappe, and was active in the volunteer fire department. He never lost his love for baseball and was an avid supporter of organized Little League when it began." While we don't know if Baker was acting as manager or coach of the town's Tri-County League entry at the time, that is certainly possible (perhaps likely), which would certainly explain the reason for his signature on this particular ball. Baker was sixty-two years old in 1948 and had yet to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, an honor which finally came to him in 1955. The ball has been coated with a layer of protective shellac, and one of the side panels bears two small mounting holes. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,185

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