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1909 Cleveland Naps Team-Signed Ball with Cy Young, Nap Lajoie, and Kid Nichols
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $2,963
Reach "Bounding Rock" baseball, signed in black fountain pen by twelve individuals, including Larry Lajoie ("3/4"), Cy Young ("3"), "Charles 'Kid' Nichols" ("2"), Bobby Lowe ("2"), Bill Bradley (twice, "6" and "5"), Tom Raftery ("4"), Nick Altrock ("4"), and Al "Kip" Selbach ("3"). The remaining four signatures have faded beyond legibility. Any ball featuring the combined signatures of Lajoie, Young, and Nichols is noteworthy, all the more so given the fact that this ball appears to have been signed by both Young and Lajoie during their active playing careers. Although only twelve signatures are legible, we have designated this ball (as has James Spence Authentication in its accompanying LOA) a 1909 Cleveland Naps team-signed ball for two reasons. First, Young, Lajoie, Bradley, and Raftery were all on the club that season. Second, and most important, 1909 marked Raftery's only season in the major leagues. If it were not signed in 1909, then it's hard to understand the reason for Raftery's signature on this ball with other well-established major league players. Nichols, Lowe,and Selbach had all retired just prior to 1909, and Altrock played with both Chicago and Washington that year. The "Bounding Rock" ball (which is an extremely rare and desirable model just as a baseball) was produced by Reach during the early 1900s, further corroborating its 1909 designation. Signed balls from this era are virtually nonexistent. This is a most interesting ball to say the least and is one of the very few balls in existence (it may be the only one; we have never seen another) signed by Young, Nichols, or Lajoie during their active careers. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,963
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