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1928 Baseball Signed by (6) With Ruth, Ruppert, Gehrig, Hornsby and Full JSA

Lot Number 188

Quantity: Bid Starts: 05/18/2011 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 6500.00  Bid Ends: 06/01/2011 22:00:00 
Bid Count: Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 6500.00  Time Left: Ended
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The offered baseball holds immense inherent value by virtue of the historically significant icons who signed it. But this orb has further appeal, as the gathering of its pennings foreshadows dashed dreams and the end of the line. The off-white sphere (grade “6”) has intermittent surface abrasions confined to (2) panels, but this decidedly minor flaw lies far from the main attraction, which is the unmistakable signature of Babe Ruth. In its customary place on the sweet spot, Ruth’s black-ink steel tip fountain pen scripting projects (“7”) strength and clarity. The supporting cast of (5) dates the signings (with high probability) to the early portion of the 1928 season. On the west panel, Lou Gehrig has signed (“7-8” strength) with what appears to have been the same writing utensil employed by his flamboyant teammate. The remaining signatures were executed in blue-ink steel tip fountain pen and include Jack Slattery (“7”) and Jacob Ruppert (“6-7”, west panel), Rogers Hornsby (south panel, “5” strength with surface abrasion affecting surname), and Earl Clark (north panel, “5-6”). While Ruppert presided over the Yankees and had no complaints regarding his sluggers (not regarding their on-field performance, anyway), the others who signed in blue (Hornsby, Slattery and Clark) were principals on a Braves team in turmoil. A former mentor at Harvard, Slattery was convinced by owner Emil Fuchs to take the helm in 1928, but resigned on May 22 after an 11-20 start. Hornsby took over, but his abrasive personality didn’t help the club, which fared worse (percentage-wise) than it had under Slattery. Clark, meanwhile, was an innocent 20-year-old who hit .304 in limited time, splitting his season between the parent club and Providence. Clark would die less than 10 years later at the age of 30. The ties between the two franchises, of course, lie in their handling of Ruth’s monetary demands. Desperate for revenue in 1935, Fuchs purchased Ruth, promising managerial and ownership interests in the future. But on that spring day in 1928, all was well with Ruth, as he led the parade of signatures on this wondrous baseball. Full photo LOA from JSA (cert/sticker #X18527).

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