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John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, "Four Horsemen," and Other Notables Signed Football Signed on December 5, 1961
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $7,637.50
This extraordinary, and almost certainly unique, signed football features not only the signatures of former President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy, but also those of eleven legendary college football players and coaches, including Notre Dame's fabled "Four Horsemen." Almost certaintly this ball was signed at the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Banquet held on December 5, 1961, in New York City. President Kennedy was in attendance that night as the recipient of the Foundation's gold medal award, which was presented annually by the Foundation to a person dedicated to propagating the concept of amateur football. In his speech at this banquet, Kennedy remarked "We have become more and more not a nation of athletes but a nation of spectators." Robert Kennedy was also in attendance that night, as well as all of the other signers on the ball. Appropriately, the black ink signature of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy, appears alone on a side panel ("6"). The black ink signature ("4/5") of Robert Kennedy has been scripted on the panel above. The remaining blue ink signatures on the Spalding Official Inter-Collegiate ball (model "J5-V Autograph') are those of the famed "Four Horsemen" (Elmer Layden, Jim Crowley, Don Miller, and Harry Stuhldreher), as well as Paul Bryant (coach of six national champions), Frank Howard (Clemson head coach for thirty years and for whom their football stadium is named today), Eddie Anderson (a Notre Dame player from 1918 to 1921, who, according to Knute Rockne, was never knocked off his feet and who later went on to coach two undefeated Holy Cross teams), Ed Krause (a Notre Dame alumnus who played both football and basketball during the Rockne era), Bump Elliot (coach of Michigan from 1959 to 68), Darrell Royal (the most successful coach in the history of the University of Texas), Dale Hall (Army standout who succeeded Red Blaik as coach in 1959), Jimmy Burns, and one other (illegible). Ideally, many of the players and coaches have also included the name of their respective college alongside their signature. The blue ink signatures range in grade from "6" to "9," averaging "7/8." John F. Kennedy and the entire Kennedy family, of course, had a very strong and long-standing association with football. By any measure, this is certainly one of the most impressive signed footballs in existence, not to mention the first football we have ever seen signed by John F. Kennedy. The ball is very slightly deflated and displays moderate wear throughout, including a number of minor abrasions/scratches. In Very Good condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $7,637.50
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