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Lot # 958 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1977 Willie McCovey 490th Home Run Ball

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $5,581.25

Official National League (Feeney) baseball hit by Willie McCovey for his 490th career home run on September 8, 1977, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. This ball originates from the personal collection of former Major League journeyman catcher Mike Sadek, who was a teammate of McCovey’s in 1977 with the San Francisco Giants, and is accompanied by an LOA signed by Sadek attesting to its authenticity and provenance. As the team’s backup catcher, Sadek spent most of his time during games in the Giants bullpen. In most ballparks, the visiting team’s bullpen was normally located just beyond the outfield fence. As a result, Sadek was able to retrieve a number of home run balls that either landed there or bounced back from the stands, of which this is one. Sadek later inscribed the ball to commemorate the event and then had McCovey sign it across the sweet spot in black ink (grading “7”). On the east panel is the notation “#490” in faded red marker. The south panel bears the printed black ink notation “9-8-77 Willie’s 490th career homer vs. Cincinnati and Paul Moskau.” McCovey actually hit two home runs on that day. The first, represented by this ball, came in the first inning with one on, and was his twenty-fifth home run of the season. He finished the year with twenty-eight home runs, leaving him just seven homers shy of 500. McCovey joined the 500 Home Run Club the following season, eventually finishing his career with 521 home runs. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1986. This is an exceptionally well documented Willie McCovey home run baseball, signed and saved as a special keepsake by one of McCovey's own teammates as he closed in on the magic home run number 500. The ball is moderately soiled and displays a few minor abrasions relating to its game use. In Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $5,581.25

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