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1956 Nap Lajoie Single-Signed Ball
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $6,600
Official American League (Harridge) ball signed in blue ink (grading "5") on a side panel by Hall of Fame second baseman Nap Lajoie. As was his custom, Lajoie has dated the ball "3-12-56" directly below his signature. Both the signature and date contrast beautifully against the cream-colored background. Lajoie was eighty-one years old at the time he signed this ball and he passed away just three years later. Despite the fact that Lajoie was extremely popular during his career (the Cleveland club was nicknamed the "Naps" for many years in his honor) and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937, singled-signed Lajoie balls are exceedingly rare. (Single-signed balls did not became the ideal for autograph collectors until well after his passing.) Incredibly, this is the first Lajoie single-singed ball we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen more than just a few other examples at auction over the past twenty years. A light coat of protective shellac has been applied over the signature panel, to which there is a very tiny chip touching upon the "j" in "Lajoie." A tiny abrasion is also evident on the opposite side panel. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain bold and legible. In Excellent condition overall. This is an exceptional example of one of the scarcest Hall of Fame singles in the hobby. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $6,600
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