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1933 American League All-Star Team-Signed Ball with Ruth and Gehrig (Twice)
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $7,110
Official American League (Harridge) ball signed by the following twenty-one members of the inaugural 1933 American League All-Star team: Babe Ruth (sweet spot, "8"), Lou Gehrig (twice, both "8"), Jimmie Foxx, Connie Mack (Mgr.), Joe Cronin, Rick Ferrell, Eddie Collins (coach), Al Simmons, Tony Lazzeri, Earl Averill, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove, Orel Hildebrand, Ben Chapman, Jimmie Dykes, Wes Ferrell, General Crowder, Sam West, Eddie Rommell (coach), and Art Fletcher (coach, sweet spot). Signatures range from "6" to "9," averaging "7/8." Oddly, the ball features four additional signatures which are all clubhouse versions: Charlie Gehringer, Joe McCarthy, Red Ruffing, and Joe DiMaggio. Gehringer was actually selected to the team, but McCarthy (manager of the Yankees) and Ruffing were not. Even stranger, DiMaggio did not make his major league debut until three years later, in 1936. The fact that all four clubhouse signatures appear to have been scripted in the same hand, and in a slightly different shade of ink, suggests that they were probably added at a later date, but for what reason is unknown. There is a very tiny inscription below Ruth's signature on the sweet spot that is illegible. 1933 marked the first All-Star Game in history, which was won by the American League 4-2. The game featured a combined twenty future Hall of Famers, twelve of whom were on the American League team. This ball is remarkably complete, featuring seventeen of the eighteen roster players, plus the manager and coaches. Only an actual Charlie Gehringer signature is missing for completion. The fact that this ball also features Gehrig twice makes it especially appealing. Our consignor's grandfather was good friends with former American League president William Harridge. While there is no "story" connected to this ball, it is possible that it originated from Harridge and was later presented to our consignor's grandfather as a gift. Regardless of its exact history, it remains an exceptional example dating from the first midsummer classic in baseball history. The ball has been coated with a layer of protective shellac, to which there are a number of minor chips and/or abrasions, as well as a few small areas of dark toning. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $7,110
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