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1954 Baseball Autograph Album Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron (Rookie Season), Umpire Nestor Chylak (First Major League Season)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,528
This unique autograph album, containing 177 signatures, was compiled by our consignor's father in the spring of 1954 during a trip to Florida. We know this because most of the pages list the year, team, and name of the Florida town where the respective team was conducting spring training. That fact is important because in this book are some of the earliest (perhaps even the earliest) known signatures for a number of players, including Hank Aaron, who was in his rookie season with the Braves, and Elston Howard, who did not even make the Yankees roster that year (his Major League debut occurred in 1955). The book also features what we can only assume is the earliest known signature example of Hall of Fame umpire Nestor Chylak, who was making his Major League debut that spring as well. (Chylak's signature is rare because he died in 1982 but wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame until 1999.) Included here are twenty different Hall of Fame signatures, as well as those of many stars, umpires (5), announcers (3), and players' wives (8). Hall of Fame players (20): Aaron, Berra, Boudreau, Chylack, Dickey, Feller, Harris, Kell, Lemon, Lopez, Mack, Mathews, Musial, Reese, Rizzuto, Roberts, J. Robinson, Schoendienst, Slaughter, and Stengel. Stars and Notables: Elston Howard, Hank Bauer, Mel Allen (announcer), Red Barber (announcer), Eddie Robinson, Stu Miller, Harry Caray (announcer), Harvey Haddix, Wally Moon, Vic Raschi, Peanuts Lowrey, Max Lanier, Eddie Stanky, Rip Repulski, Tex Clevenger, Ferris Fain, Marty Marion, Johnny Pesky, Earl Torgeson, Johnny Temple, Joe Nuxhall, Vic Power, Gus Zernial, Mickey Vernon, Eddie Yost, Johnny Logan, Billy Bruton, Charlie Grimm, Allie Reynolds, Bob Cerv, Tom Morgan, Joe Collins, Gil McDougald, Billy Cox, Al Schacht, Clem Labine, Russ Meyer, Preacher Roe, George Shuba, Joe Black, Walt Dropo, Augie Donatelli (umpire), Joe Paparella (umpire, holds the record for most games umpired in a single Major League season: 176 games in 1962), Bob Friend, Frank Thomas, Sid Gordon, Mike Garcia, and Moose Skowron. The signatures appear on thirty-seven pages (between one and nine per page, averaging six) of the 114-page book. Nearly all of the signatures have been scripted in blue ink and range in grade from "6" to "10," averaging "8/9." One signature is a "cut" that has been glued in. The covers of the green, leather-bound album (5.5 x 3.5 inches) are in remarkably fine Excellent condition, with only normal light handling wear; a few of the interior pages display light rippling possibly related to very light exposure to moisture (not affecting any of the signatures). In Excellent condition overall. This autograph album is a time capsule from 1954 spring training! LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,528
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