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John McGraw and Hughie Jennings Signed Ball and 1895 Scrapbook
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $5,036
During the 1890s John McGraw, in addition to being a star infielder for the Baltimore Orioles, also attended St. Bonaventure College and helped coach the school's baseball team during the winter and early spring to help pay his tuition. Each of these two items directly relates to his association with the college. The first is a red-and-blue stitched baseball (manufacturer's label faded) which has been signed on a side panel in black ink "J. J. McGraw" (6/10) and, on the opposite side panel extending into the sweet spot, "Hugh Jennings" (5/10). The inscription, which encompasses the other two side panels, reads "June 1, 1927 Saint Bonaventure College Dedication of McGraw Jennings Field - New York Giants-11, St. Bona.-2." Jennings was also a graduate of the college and was honored by St. Bonaventure in the naming of their playing field along with his ex-teammate and good friend. Interestingly, according to an article covering the dedication, printed in The New York Times on July 2, 1927 (a copy of which accompanies the ball), it was at McGraw's insistence that the field include Jennings' name as well. Jennings was being treated for tuberculosis at the time and he died of the disease just one year later. As such, his autograph, especially on a ball, is exceedingly rare. The ball (manufacturer's label no longer visible) is slightly soiled and toned, and is in overall Very Good condition. The second item is a leather-bound scrapbook with an ornately designed cover featuring the circular portrait of a woman. The interior cover bears the inscription "Presented to - John J. McGraw by His Friends at Saint Bonaventure - January 7, 1895." Below the inscription is an affixed Peck & Snyder receipt dated October 29, 1892, and made out for "$42" to "John McGraw/Gloves - St. Bonaventure Base Ball Club." The remainder of the album consists primarily of newspaper clippings from 1894 relating to McGraw and the Baltimore Orioles. The album cover has some tearing and is well worn, and the binding is loose with a few pages detached from the spine. Good condition overall. Two very interesting items relating to McGraw's association with St. Bonaventure College. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $5,036
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