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1943 Queen Mary (Regent) Single Signed Baseball
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $3,737.50
Baseball returns to England! Official National League (Frick) baseball has been beautifully signed by the Queen Mother, Mary (Regent). This unique baseball, signed by the Queen in 1943, might at first glance seem out of place in a section of the catalog devoted to the origins of the game of baseball, but in light of the great debate about England's role in the development of the game, it seems to us most appropriate. This is an incredible signed baseball, with extraordinary accompanying documentation, which tells the story of the ball and its signing. The ball has been signed by the Queen Mother with her traditional signature, "Mary R.". She has also dated the ball "1943." On July 24, 1943, the Queen attended her first and only baseball game. The game was played between a team of artillery personnel, and one comprised of military engineers. This ball was signed at that game, at the personal request of her hostess for the day, an American Red Cross volunteer by the name of Maxine Preas. Accompanying the ball is a 14-page handwritten letter from Miss Preas, to her parents, recounting the many exciting details of the day. A few especially relevant passages with reference to the game and the ball read as follows: "I was called yesterday by General Gerow - (5th army) and asked to act as hostess to the Queen Mother and her party coming over today for an American baseball game! (which she had never seen) and a tea party afterwards...I stood while they played "God Save the King" and our national anthem - then we were seated...The game was between an artillery group and an engineers outfit. She was quite interested and asked many questions and really enjoyed it. All this time I was explaining the game...I told Lord Hamilton that it was customary in America for the hero of a game to autograph the ball. I gave him a baseball to get the Queen to autograph for me." The letter is very detailed in all respects, enthusiastically describing every detail (that could possibly fit in just fourteen pages!) regarding her day among Royalty, with the Queen, the Duchess of Kent, and many high ranking military officials. Accompanying the ball and letter are also the following related materials: An original photograph (6.5 x 8 inches) of Maxine Preas with the Queen and Major General Gerow, dated July 24, 1943, the day of the game. Incredibly, if you look closely, Ms. Preas can be seen actually holding the baseball in the photo. Also accompanying is a very unusual matching plaid fabric hat and purse, which Ms. Preas is wearing and carrying in this photograph with Queen, which have been stored in the original hat box (also included) with handwritten notations by Ms. Preas on top which read "The hat I wore when I played hostess to the Queen (Mary) in 1943, Bristol, England. The Duchess of Kent asked me who my "hatter" was!" Queen Mary, who was married to King George V, died in 1953. It is very likely that this may be the only baseball that Queen Mary ever signed. The fact that it is accompanied by such extensive documentation and provenance, and was signed at the only baseball game the Queen ever attended, gives this signed baseball a fascinating connection to the game and England, and provides an added dimension of historic significance to one of the most interesting and unique signed baseballs we have ever seen. The signature (and date) are strong, neat and bold, grading a "9" on a scale of "1 to 10." The ball has some light soiling on a side panel, and is otherwise in Excellent condition. Total 6 items (ball, 14-page letter, photograph, hat, purse, and hat box). LOA James Spence, Steve Grad & John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500/$5,000. SOLD FOR $3,737.50
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