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Steve Carlton 1970-1971 Game-Used "Victory" Trophy Balls Collection (8)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,528
Collection of eight official National League (Feeney) balls, each of which was used in one of Steve Carlton’s victories in 1970 or 1971, including his milestone 50th career win in 1970. These balls originate directly from Carlton’s personal collection and were sold by him at auction many years ago. These game balls are "trophy balls" (a term usually associated with nineteenth-century game balls, as this was a common practice at that time), each elaborately decorated with information about the game in which it was used. The ornate design featured on each is the direct handiwork of the St. Louis Cardinals’ longtime clubhouse man, “Doc” Bauman. As a matter of practice, Bauman would take a game-used ball from each victory, decorate it, and then present it to the team’s winning pitcher as a personal keepsake. Recorded on each ball, in alternating red and black ink, is a wealth of information from each game, including a complete line score, opponent, opposing pitcher, date, time of the game, attendance, strikeouts, walks, home runs, RBI, etc. The balls offered here, which are listed in number order of Carlton’s career wins, are as follows: 1) Career Win #50 (6/2/70; 12-1 over Gaylord Perry and the San Francisco Giants, Carlton’s third win of the season); 2) Career Win #58 (4/7/71; 14-3 over the Chicago Cubs; Carlton’s first win of the season); 3) Career Win #61 (4/22/71; 5-2 over Jim Bunning and the Philadelphia Phillies; Carlton’s fourth win of the season); 4) Career Win #62 (5/2/71; 1-0 over the Montreal Expos; Carlton’s fourteenth career shutout and fifth win of the season); 5) Career Win #64 (5/20/71; 5-0 over the Los Angeles Dodgers; Carlton’s fifteenth career shutout and seventh win of the season); 6) Career Win #66 (5/30/71; 8-3 over Phil Niekro and the Atlanta Braves; Carlton’s ninth win of the season); 7) Career Win #75 (8/30/71; 3-2 over the New York Mets; Carlton’s eighteenth win of the season); 8) Career Win #76 (9/19/71; 11-0 over the Montreal Expos, Carlton’s sixteenth career shutout and nineteenth win of the season). Carlton was one of the greatest pitchers of the modern era and his lifetime total of 329 wins is second only to Warren Spahn for left-handers. A six-time twenty-game winner, Carlton was also the first pitcher in history to win four Cy Young Awards and his 4,136 strikeouts ranks fourth best all time behind Ryan, Johnson, and Clemens. This is a highly desirable collection of game-used baseballs from eight of Carlton's early wins, including his 50th career victory. All of the balls display normal wear commensurate with their game-used status and are in Excellent condition overall. Together with two signed letters from Steve Carlton attesting to their provenance. Total: 8 balls. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,528
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