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Rare 1929 Lefty Grove Signed "Lefty Grove Home-Coming Banquet" Program
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $540
Offered here is an exceedingly rare banquet program featuring an original, signed photo of Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Grove on the front cover. The program, issued for a "Home-Coming Banquet" in honor of Lefty Grove, features a small 2.5 x 3.5-inch photo of Grove affixed to the cover that has been signed in black fountain pen (grading "9") along the base. The printed text below the photo reads: "Robert Moses 'Lefty' Grove/The Pitching Ace of the American League/'LONACONING'S OWN'/Sponsored by Lonaconing Business Men's Association/Central High School, Lonaconing/Wednesday, October 30, 1929, 8 p. m." Printed on the interior pages are the menu for the night and a special song composed in Lefty Grove's honor. This is the first example of this program we have ever seen and since it was a small, local affair, it may be the only one that has survived. The fact that Grove has signed the piece naturally adds to its great desirability. According to our consignor, this program was only just recently discovered last year, tucked in the pages of an old University of Maryland (at Frostburg) yearbook. (Frostburg is just eight miles from Lonaconing.) Grove was born in Lonaconing, Maryland, and he was obviously the toast of the town following the Philadelphia Athletics five-game victory over the Chicago Cubs in the 1929 World Series. This banquet was thrown in Grove's honor just sixteen days after the final game of the Series. Oddly, even though Grove was one of the A's top pitchers that season, winning 20 games and leading the league in ERA, he was only used in relief during the Series. Instead, Connie Mack started aging veteran Howard Ehmke in two of the five games and he responded in Game 1 by striking out a then-record thirteen batters in the A's 3-1 victory. Grove saved two of the four games for the A's in the Series, including legendary Game 4, in which the A's overcame an 8-0 deficit by scoring ten runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The program (5.5 x 8.5 inches) displays only light toning along the edges and is in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $540
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