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Roger Maris Single-Signed Portrait Ball Inscribed to Barry Halper
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $4,993.75
Barry Halper was not only a prolific collector but a trendsetter within the hobby. Many years before photo baseballs became mass-produced commodities, Barry was commissioning artist Judy Evans to paint player portraits on the side panels of signed baseballs, thus transforming them into new and unique display pieces. Presented here is a magnificent example of Evans' talent: a portrait ball of Roger Maris that was commissioned for Barry's most prized Maris single-signed ball. Maris has inscribed the ball in blue ink on a side panel, "To Barry - Thanks for all your help. You've been a good friend - Roger Maris." Both the inscription and signature grade a perfect "10." Evans has initialed the painting and then signed and dated the ball ("1985") on an adjacent side panel. Maris and Barry were very close friends and this ball, which was signed very shortly before Maris' death, was one of his most treasured pieces. For that reason it was always situated front and center in his display case. One of the most significant aspects of this ball, aside from its inscription and unique artwork, is the fact that it is an official American League (Brown) ball manufactured in Haiti. OAL Brown balls were only produced in Haiti between the years 1984 and 1989. Maris passed away in December 1985, thus the window of opportunity for Maris to sign this ball was quite narrow. Autograph authenticator James Spence noted that this was only the third Roger Maris signed OAL "Haiti" ball he has ever seen. The ball has been coated with a light layer of protective shellac and is in Near Mint condition. This is a stunning baseball in all respects. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $4,993.75
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