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Lot # 474 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1909 Game-Used World Series Ball

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $2,320.00

Offered is red-and-blue stitched baseball purported to have been used during the 1909 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers. The ball, which bears a number of vintage black ink notations supporting its provenance, is also accompanied by a copy of a letter from the original owner in which he details the ball's history. He writes in part: "In 1926 I was six years old at the time, my aunt Kate Cleary was head cashier at the Sinton Hotel in Cincinnati, where the ball teams stayed...it [the ball] was given directly to me in 1926 by the traveling secretary of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who was a close friend of my aunt. He told my aunt and myself that the ball had been used in the 1909 World Series and signed by players from both teams after the game. The ball was actually inscribed 'Used in the World Series,' but it too has partially faded." As noted in his letter, many of the inscriptions are badly faded and/or obscured by numerous abrasions and scuffs. The legible notations include: "Series Pitts vs. Detroit Oct 8," "To My Friend," "1909," and the printed names of two Tigers players, "Chas. O'Leary" and "Donnie Bush." This ball does date from the correct era, and while there is always a leap of faith when dealing with game-used baseballs, we believe the leap of faith is small with this ball. Everything about this ball is consistent with the notations and legend which accompany it. As noted on the ball, the first game of the 1909 World Series did take place on October 8th at Pittsburgh, where a crowd of over 29,000 witnessed the Pirates defeat the Tigers by a score of 4-1. The 1909 World Series remains one of the most memorable on record, as it showcased the talents of the two greatest players of the dead-ball era: Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. At the end of the Series, Wagner emerged victorious on both counts, as his Pirates captured the Championship in seven games and his average of .333 bested Cobb's disappointing .231 mark. The ball is moderately toned, with numerous abrasions, and is in Good to Very Good condition overall. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $2,320.00


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