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1961 Ty Cobb Single-Signed Ball - Signed Just Two Months Prior to His Passing
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,700
Spalding "Official Little League" ball signed by Ty Cobb in his customary green ink. Cobb has inscribed and dated the ball on a side panel: "To Ronnie from Ty Cobb 5/21/61." Both the inscription and signature are boldly scripted and grade "9." The significance of the date, of course, is that Cobb passed away just two months later, on July 17th, making this one of the last balls he ever signed. Cobb was suffering from an advanced case of prostate cancer when he took the time to autograph this ball. Just two weeks later, on June 5th, he checked into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and remained there until his death nearly six weeks later. While we cannot say with certainty how many balls Cobb signed during the last two months of his life, the fact that he was bedridden and suffering greatly suggests that the number is quite low. Legend has it that when Cobb finally succumbed he had at his side only two items: a paper bag with over one million dollars in negotiable bonds and a pistol. Ty Cobb single-signed balls are a requisite for any advanced Hall of Fame ball collection and this example, one of the last he ever autographed, is especially desirable. The signature panel has been coated with a thin layer of protective shellac that has a few chips and abrasions. The ball is slightly toned and displays a few abrasions and surface marks as well. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. SOLD FOR $2,700
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