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1937 Newark Bears Team-Signed Ball
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $705
Of all the minor league teams in the history of the game, perhaps no team is as celebrated as the 1937 Newark Bears, often referred to as "The 1927 Yankees of minor-league baseball." Presented is a ball signed in black fountain pen by twenty members of the legendary 1937 Newark Bears, considered by many to be the greatest minor-league team in baseball history. The signatures featured on this official International League (Shauhnessy) ball are those of Oscar Vitt (Mgr.), Marius Russo, Vito Tamulis, Frank Kelleher, Phil Page, Atley Donald, Bob Seeds, John Niggeling, George McQuinn, Jack Fallon, Clyde McCullough, Jim Gleeson, Buddy Rosar, Willard Hershberger, Nolen Richardson, Charlie Keller, Joe Beggs, Babe Dahlgren, Joe Gordon, and Doc Mack (blue ink, not a roster player, probably the team trainer). The notation "Newark 1937" is printed in black fountain pen on a side panel. The signatures are all fairly uniform in grade, averaging "7/8." The 1937 Newark Bears, members of the International League, are perhaps baseball's most famous minor-league club. The team compiled an incredible regular-season record of 109-43, finishing 25.5 games ahead of Montreal. Offensively, the team led the league in nearly every major category including batting average (.299), runs (890), hits (1,594), doubles (292), and triples (80). In the league playoffs the Bears encountered little resistance, sweeping Syracuse in the first round and Baltimore in the finals. The team then cemented its legendary status by defeating the American Association champion Columbus Redbirds in the Junior World Series. (Incredibly, the Bears trailed the Redbirds three games to none before winning the final four games.) The team's record notwithstanding, the 1937 Bears are also noteworthy due to the fact that all but one of the players on the team (Fallon) later went on play in the Major Leagues. In just a few short years players such as Keller, Gordon, Donald, Dahlgren, and Russo would gain national fame as key members of the New York Yankees. (The Bears and Yankees were both owned by Jacob Ruppert.) The ball displays scattered light age toning and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $705
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