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Extraordinary 1961 NY Yankees World Champions Team-Signed Baseball - Graded NM-MT 8 by PSA DNA
Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $13,920.00
Offered is not only one of the finest 1961 New York Yankees team-signed balls in existence, having received an extraordinary grade of NM-MT 8 by PSA DNA, but one that is accompanied by a rare and outstanding provenance. The history of this ball is detailed in the accompanying letter by our consignor, whose father was in the travel business and helped the Yankees with their transportation plans during an early road trip to Kansas City in 1961. As a gesture of thanks, Ralph Houk and the Yankees management invited him to attend a home game against the Detroit Tigers the following day. After the game, the Yankees presented him with this team-signed ball as a further token of their appreciation. His father always related that he remembered that day well because Tigers outfielder Rocky Colavito was ejected from the game for jumping into the stands and assaulting a drunken fan who had been heckling his wife and father. Although the exact date of the game is not mentioned in the letter, our research indicates that Colavito's ejection (for the reason mentioned in the letter) occurred on May 13th. Its impeccable provenance aside, this ball stands apart from other 1961 Yankee team balls in two other significant ways. First, both the signatures of Mantle and Maris appear together on a side panel, thus making for a spectacular visual display. Second, the ball has been signed by twenty-nine team members, an extraordinary number for most team balls. Joining Mantle and Maris on this Official American League (Cronin) ball are the blue ink signatures of Berra (sweet spot), Ford (sweet spot), Gonder, Terry, Sheldon, Clevenger, Kubek, Houk (Mgr.), Crosetti (coach), Hegan (coach), Coates, DeMaestri, Stafford, Maas, McDevitt, Murray (bull pen catcher), Johnson, Skowron, Howard, Turley, Richardson, Boyer, Cerv, Arroyo, Blanchard, Lopez and Ditmar. The signatures range in grade from "7-9," averaging "8." The ball is in strong Near Mint condition. 1961 Yankees balls are among the most desirable of all team-signed balls due to the historic nature of the season. The club not only amassed a then record 240 home runs, but also won 109 games, which was the third highest win total in American League history at the time. Despite those two lofty achievements, both paled in comparison to the daily drama presented by the famed "M&M Boys," Mantle and Maris. The two Yankee sluggers waged a classic season-long home run duel that recalled the epic battle between Ruth and Gehrig in 1927. Just as in 1927, the contest ended with a home run record being broken, as Maris bested Ruth's single season mark in the final game of the year. The post season was equally unkind to Ruth, as Whitey Ford broke the Babe's streak of consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play, thus leading the Yankees to an easy five game victory over the Reds and cementing their place as one of the greatest ball clubs of all time. Graded NM-MT 8 by PSA DNA. This is an extraordinary 1961 Yankees team-signed ball in all respects, one that stands above almost all other examples we have seen, and a worthy centerpiece to many types of great collections. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000/$15,000. SOLD FOR $13,920.00
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