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1961 New York Yankees World Champions Team-Signed Ball with Player Provenance
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $588
This baseball, along with the other 1961 New York Yankees team-signed ball offered in this auction, originates from Yankees pitcher Jim Coates and was obtained by our consignor directly from Coates during a trip to Yankee Stadium in 1961. In his accompanying one-page typed letter, our consignor relates how he obtained the balls: "To Whom It May Concern: In the summer of 1961 I went to New York with Jim Coates' sister to see the Yankees and to meet Jim Coates, who pitched for the Yankees. Jim took me into the dugout to meet Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and various players. At that time, Jim Coates gave me two autographed 1961 New York Yankees baseballs. The offered ball is one of the two I received that day." Interestingly, our consignor, a former minor-league pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization, is also the gentleman who consigned the 1954 Al Kaline Detroit Tigers rookie jersey featured in this auction. The official National League (Giles) ball has been signed in blue ink by the following thirty members of the 1961 World Champion New York Yankees: Berra (sweet spot), Ford, Maris, Skowron, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer, Howard, Lopez, Blanchard, DeMaestri, Reed, Gonder, Thomas, Terry, Arroyo, Stafford, Coates, Sheldon, Turley, Ditmar, McDevitt, Duren (on ball label), James, Maas, Murray (coach), Crosetti (coach), Hegan (coach), Moses (coach, on ball label), and Sain (coach). The Mantle signature on the sweet spot is a clubhouse signature. The signature of pitcher Ted Wieand also appears on the ball. Wieand was not an official roster player with the club in 1961, but he was a member of the club in spring training. The most likely explanation for the presence of Wieand's signature on this ball is that it is one of the myriad number of balls signed by the players in spring training (when there was more time for such endeavors) that were then later distributed during the season (as intended). It's also possible that Wieand was employed by the Yankees in some capacity that summer, perhaps as a batting practice pitcher. The signatures range from "5" to "7," averaging "6." The ball displays a few very light surface marks and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $588
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