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Negro League Signed Sheet with Martin Dihigo (PSA/DNA MINT 9)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $6,518
Postcard-size sheet (5.5 x 4 inches) signed in black fountain pen (all grading "9/10") by four Negro League stars: Martin Dihigo, Luis Tiant, Avelino Canizares, and Jonas "Lefty" Gaines. The signatures of Dihigo, Tiant, and Canizares appear together on one side, with the Gaines signature alone on the other side. The sheet has been encapsulated by PSA/DNA, with the Dihigo signature graded MINT 9. While all of the individuals represented on the sheet were standout players, the most significant signature here, of course, is that of Martin Dihigo, who is considered by many to be the greatest all-around player to ever play the game of baseball. Dihigo (1905-1971), led the League in home runs in 1926, was an All-Star in 1935 and 1945, and was admitted to the Hall of Fame in 1977. In a poll conducted in the early 1980s among former Negro League players and other experts on black baseball, Dihigo gathered votes as best all-time outfielder and third baseman, and was voted to the all-time black all-star team as a second baseman. Among the remaining signatures, the most recognizable is probably that of Cuban pitcher Luis Tiant Sr., who, as most historians are aware, was the father of the American star pitcher Luis Tiant. While we have no knowledge of when or where this sheet was signed, we do know that Dihigo and Tiant played together with the New York Cubans in 1935-1936, and again in 1945. Canizares was a standout shortstop, while Gaines starred as a pitcher for fourteen seasons (1937-1950), primarily with the Baltimore Elite Giants. The irregularly cut sheet features a football illustration in the upper right corner, as well as a few handwritten notations which are obscured by a thin layer of paper residue. Aside from the paper residue (not affecting any of the signatures), the sheet is lightly toned and in Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $6,518
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