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1933 Mel Ott Single-Signed Ball - Full-Name Inscription!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $8,400
Rare and highly desirable Mel Ott single-signed ball featuring a vintage, full-name inscription. The "National League Ball" (no manufacturer listed) has been inscribed by Ott in blue fountain pen "To My Little Gil Louis/From Melvin Ott." Both the first and second lines of the inscription begin on the sweet spot and continue into the east panel, which is where nearly the entire portion of Ott's signature is located. Ott has added the date: "October 28 1933" on the panel directly above the sweet spot. Both the text and signature are fairly uniform in strength and grade "7."
As most collectors are aware, a Mel Ott single-signed ball is exceedingly rare and represents the "key" piece for anyone attempting to put together a complete 500 Home Run Club single-signed ball collection.The reasons for its rarity are threefold. The first, of course, is his untimely death in 1958 at the age of forty-nine. Also, Ott was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951, so Hall of Fame autograph collectors had just a short eight-year window to obtain his signature. Lastly, it should be remembered that during that time single-signed balls, which were much more expensive than other options, such as a photo, government postcard, or a sheet of paper, had not yet become the ideal for most autograph collectors. Each of those factors is responsible for the extreme scarcity of Ott singles today. This is only the third example we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen more than five others at auction in the past ten years. The fact that the offered ball features Ott's full first name and dates to his active playing career makes it an extraordinary example. Ott signed this ball just three weeks after his Giants were declared World Champions by virtue of their victory over the Washington Nationals in the World Series. Ott was the hitting star of the Series, batting .389 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI in the Giants' decisive five-game win. The ball displays scattered areas of light discoloration that affect all six panels, but the manufacturer's stampings are all bold and legible. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,400
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