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Outstanding 1950s Team-Signed Ball Collection with Bat Boy Provenance (8)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,700
This extraordinary team-signed ball collection originates from the personal collection of a gentleman who was the bat boy for the Chicago Cubs from 1955 through 1958 and has been consigned directly by his daughter. All of the balls have been in the family's possession since the 1950s and have not seen the light of day in nearly fifty years. Because the family took great care in preserving them as valued keepsakes, all are in nearly the exact same, virtually perfect condition as when first signed and all but one is accompanied by its original Spalding bag. Vintage 1950s team-signed balls are rarely, if ever, found in such pristine condition and this is certainly one of the finest groupings we have ever offered. (Five additional highly significant balls from this same collection, including a 1955 Dodgers ball, have been separated from the collection and are offered elsewhere in this auction, three team balls in individual lots and two All-Star balls as a pair in a single lot) In each listing we have noted all of the Hall of Fame signatures on the ball as well as a few other "keys." 1) 1955 New York Giants. Twenty-three blue ink signatures ("10") on a Mint ONL (Giles) ball, including Mays, Wilhelm, Lockman, Rhodes, Hearn, and Thompson. The Durocher signature on this ball is a stamp (common for nearly all Durocher signatures on team-signed balls from this era). 2) 1955 Philadelphia Phillies. Twenty-eight blue ink signatures ("8" to "10") on a Near Mint ONL (Giles) ball, including Ashburn, Roberts, Smith (Mgr., sweet spot), Ennis, Seminick, Jones, Greengrass (sweet spot) and Morgan. 3) 1956 Cincinnati Reds. Twenty-nine blue ink signatures ("10" with the exception of Kluszewski) on an OLN (Giles) ball, including F. Robinson (rookie season), Kluszewski (sweet spot), McMillan (sweet spot), Burgess, Tebbetts (Mgr.), Nuxhall, Bailey, and Lawrence. The ball displays a small area of minor age toning on a side panel; otherwise in Near Mint condition. 4) 1956 Milwaukee Braves. Twenty-six blue-ink signatures ("6" to "8," minor bleeding to most) on a Near Mint ONL (Giles) ball, including Aaron, Mathews, Spahn (sweet spot), Haney (Mgr., sweet spot), Adcock, Burdette, Logan, Thomson, and Buhl. 5) 1956 Philadelphia Phillies. Twenty-eight blue-ink signatures ("9/10") on a lightly toned Near Mint ONL (Giles) ball, including Ashburn, Roberts, Jones, Smith (Mgr., sweet spot), Simmons, Haddix, and Ennis. 6) 1956 St. Louis Cardinals. Eighteen blue-ink signatures ("6" to "9") on a Near Mint ONL (Giles) ball, including Boyer, Dark, Bend Mizell, and Hutchinson (Mgr., sweet spot). 7) 1956 Chicago White Sox. Twenty-five blue-ink signatures ("9/10") on a Mint OAL (Harridge) ball, including Fox, Doby, Aparicio, Minoso, Pierce, Dropo, and Marion (Mgr., sweet spot). 8) 1959 Chicago Cubs. Twenty-nine blue-ink signatures ("7" to "10") on a Near Mint ONL (Giles) ball, including Banks, B. Williams, Long, Dark, and Scheffing (Mgr., sweet spot). The collection is accompanied by a vintage Spalding baseball box that originally housed twelve of these balls. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Total: 8 balls. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $4,700
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