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Outstanding 1949 Jim Thorpe Single-Signed Ball
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $5,400
Exceedingly rare Jim Thorpe single-signed baseball dating from 1949. The signature of Jim Thorpe is scarce in any form, but single-signed balls are virtually nonexistent. This is the first example we have ever offered and we can not recall seeing more than three other examples at public auction in the past ten years. (The finest of those three other examples, graded NM-MT 8 by PSA/DNA, sold for $28,680 in 2006.) Thorpe has scripted his name in blue ink on a side panel of this Spalding "Official League" ball, with the signature grading "7." Interestingly, vestiges of a written notation are visible on the side panel directly above Thorpe's signature. While not visible to the naked eye, an examination of the notation by JSA under a video spectral comparator, which allows for the observation of latent writing and/or markings, reveals this inscription: "1949/Little League/To Vance Brehm." Thorpe is considered by many to be the greatest all-around athlete of the twentieth century. An Olympic gold-medal winner in the decathlon at the 1912 Games, Thorpe was also one of the greatest players ever to set foot on the gridiron and is a charter member in both the College and Pro Football halls of fame. His signature on a baseball was not a strange request, however, as Thorpe also excelled on the diamond. Thorpe played six seasons in the major leagues, nearly all of which were spent as a member of the New York Giants, between the years 1913 and 1919. He also played a number of years in the minors, both before and after his major league career. The ball displays minor surface wear and the all of the manufacturer's stampings, while light, remain legible. In Excellent condition overall. This is an exceptional mid- to high-grade Jim Thorpe single-signed ball and, compared to the others we have seen, ranks second only to the aforementioned PSA/DNA NM-MT 8 example. LOA from James Spence/JSA. SOLD FOR $5,400
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