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Lot # 701 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1934 Tour of Japan Team-Signed Ball with Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, and Berg

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,000

In 1934 Connie Mack led a group of Major League players on a highly publicized postseason goodwill tour of Japan. That much-celebrated tour is especially noteworthy as it was the only overseas tour in which both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig participated. Offered is a Kurimoto & Co. "General League Ball" signed in green ink by fifteen members of that famous overseas tour. Babe Ruth's signature appears on the sweet spot (grading "4") while Gehrig's signature ("2/3") shares a side panel with that of Connie Mack, Bing Miller, and Lefty Gomez. The remaining signatures on the ball are those Jimmie Foxx, Earl Whitehill (black ink), Moe Berg, Frank Hayes, Charley Gehringer, Joe Cascarella (last name only), Doc Ebling (trainer), Earl Averill, Eric McNair, and Rabbit Warstler. Signatures range from "1" to "8," averaging "5." In addition to including the signatures of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and many other stars, this ball represents one of the most celebrated tours in baseball history, and is a ball that tells a story. Of special interest to historians is the fact that Moe Berg's signature is included on this ball. Berg was a journeyman catcher who was hastily added to the roster shortly before the tour began. However, it was not Connie Mack who recruited Berg for the trip, but rather Uncle Sam. Unbeknownst to all at the time, Berg was working as a spy for the U.S. government and was sent on the trip to obtain reconnaissance photos and film of Tokyo that were later helpful during World War II, especially during the Doolittle Raid. The ball displays moderate soiling (it is possibly a game-used ball) and is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA.
SOLD FOR $3,000

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