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Circa 1938 Mel Ott Signed Ball
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,200
Official National League (Frick) ball signed in black fountain pen (grading "7/8") on a side panel by Hall of Fame outfielder Mel Ott. It should be noted that the Ott signature has been enhanced and a number of signature removals are evident on the other panels. (Three are clearly visible with the naked eye, but there might be a few more.) The intent behind those removals was, of course, so that the ball would display as a Mel Ott single-signed ball, and in that regard, the objective has been fulfilled. As most collectors are aware, Mel Ott single-signed balls are rare and represent the most elusive of all the 500 Home Run Club members. Therefore, they oftentimes exceed most collecting budgets. The fact that this ball offers very similar aesthetic appeal as an Ott single, but will sell for a significant discount to a true single-signed ball, makes it an extremely appealing alternative for many collectors (especially since true Ott singles are extremely rare and expensive). This ball dates to the 1936-1940 manufacturing period and was almost certainly signed by Ott during his active playing career (1926-1947), which only adds to its appeal (the removed signatures were most likely those of a few his Giants teammates). The ball displays a large area of heavy toning on a side panel, as well as a number of moderate abrasions. It also appears that the the Ott panel has been coated with a very thin layer of protective shellac. In Good to Very Good condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,200
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