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Circa 1930 Grover Cleveland Alexander Single-Signed Ball
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,400
Official National League ball (dating from the 1926 to 1933 manufacturing period) signed by Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Alexander on the sweet spot. Alexander has scripted his name, "G. C. Alexander," in black fountain pen, with the signature grading "6/7." Although this is an official National League ball, it was issued for minor league use because the stamped facsimile signature on the side panel is not that of John Heydler, but another individual (it is partially obscured by the toning, but it appears to read "B.S. Farrell"). Single-signed Grover Alexander balls are rare and this is only the second example we have offered in nearly a decade. (The other appeared as Lot 840 in our May 2012 auction, where it realized $5,629.) Few pitchers in the history of the game entered the Hall of Fame with a better resume than Grover Alexander. Between the years 1911 and 1927 Alexander won twenty or more games nine times, including three thirty-win seasons, and finished his career with 373 wins, which ties him with Christy Mathewson for fourth place on the all-time list. Alexander was at his best during the three-year span 1915-1917, when he became the first and only pitcher to lead the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts for three consecutive seasons. Despite all of these accomplishments, he is still best remembered today for his dramatic strikeout of Tony Lazzeri with two outs and the bases loaded in Game 7 of the 1926 World Series, which basically won the Series for the Cardinals. Alexander retired in 1931 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1938. Unfortunately, his bouts with alcoholism and epilepsy, which plagued him throughout his career, grew worse during his retirement days and he died practically penniless in 1950. Given the circumstances of his later life, and the fact that he died long before single-signed balls had yet to be considered by collectors as the ideal form of a player's signature, it is no surprise that so few Alexander singles are seen in the hobby today. The offered ball displays moderate-to-heavy toning and is otherwise in Excellent condition overall. This an exceptional mid-grade example of an extremely rare single-signed Hall of Fame baseball. LOA from James Spence/JSA.
SOLD FOR $5,400
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