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Lot # 493 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1925 NY Giants Team-Signed Baseball Including Mathewson

Starting Bid - $4,000.00, Sold For - $20,880.00

This extraordinary 1925 New York Giants team ball features no less than eight Hall of Fame signatures, the most prominent of which is that of legendary pitcher Christy Mathewson. Christy Mathewson's signature, of course, is also very rare to find on a baseball, and the bold, virtually flawless example on this ball, which runs from the adjacent side panel to the sweet spot, is almost certainly the single finest Mathewson signature on a baseball in existence. All of the signatures have been executed in black ink upon an Official National League (Heydler) ball, with Hank Gowdy having signed the ball twice. Three of the signatures on the ball, those of Ross Youngs, George Kelly and Jack Bentley, are clubhouse signatures, however, an authentic George Kelly signature is also present on the ball. The seventeen signatures appearing on the ball are those of manager John McGraw ("8," slight bleeding to the "J" in "John"), Christy Mathewson ("9/10," the strongest signature on the ball), Hughie Jennings (coach, "7"), Hack Wilson ("5"), Travis Jackson ("6"), Freddie Lindstrom (sweet spot, "6"), George Kelly ("7"), Frankie Frisch ("5"), Jack, Bentley (name printed), Irish Meusel, Grover Hartley, Art Nehf, Heinie Groh, Hank Gowdy (twice), Jack Scott, Virgil Barnes, Geo Kelley (name spelled differently from the player, possible coach), and Ross Youngs (possible clubhouse). The year, "1925," is written in black ink on a side panel. The signatures average "6/7" and the ball is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall, with some minor soiling and toning. A moderate coat of protective shellac has been applied to the surface. This ball was almost certainly signed during spring training of 1925, which was the very last time that Christy Mathewson met with McGraw and the team. Mathewson became extremely ill during his visit and was forced to leave early to return to his home in Saranac Lake, New York, and remained there until his death in October of that year. Mathewson's serious health condition was the result of his exposure to poison gas while serving in the Chemical Warfare Service of the United States Army during the first World War. Mathewson had been very sick since his exposure in 1918 and was deteriorating rapidly in 1925. He finally succumbed to his long-standing illness on October 7, 1925, the opening day of the 1925 World Series between Pittsburgh and Washington. During the second game on October 8, the players wore black armbands in honor of Mathewson and 36,000 World Series fans stood as the flag was lowered to half-mast at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field and sang "Nearer My God To Thee." Mathewson was one of McGraw's favorite players and it is said that he kept a photo of him above his desk at the Polo Grounds. This is an extraordinary ball in all respects, one of the finest 1920s signed baseballs of any type we have ever seen, signed by many important and rare Hall of Famers including John McGraw, Hughie Jennings, and, most notably, Christy Mathewson, dating from the last year of Mathewson's life. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $4,000. Estimate $8,000/$12,000. SOLD FOR $20,880.00


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