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A Murderer's Row masterpiece

1927 New York Yankees Team Signed Photograph - Fresh to the Hobby! With the clarity of hindsight, the lopsided dominance of this most fabled edition of New York Yankees rosters seems as if it should have been apparent from the very start, but public sentiment (or at least that of leading oddsmakers and sportswriters) leaned south to Philadelphia on Opening Day of 1927. To be fair, Connie Mack's newest creation looked unbeatable on paper, the signing of three veteran legends-Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins and Zack Wheat-bolstering a roster already heavy with future Cooperstown talent. But the Yanks would set a blistering pace from the starting gun, winning their first six games to lead the American League from wire to wire, finishing a stunning nineteen games ahead of Connie Mack's second place club at the close of the regular season.

During that memorable spring and summer, as the nation marveled at Charles Lindbergh's historic trans-Atlantic flight and the cruel fate of Dempsey's "Long Count" error, a thrilling subplot to the Yankee season slowly emerged. As any hope for a competitive American League pennant race grew progressively dimmer, fans nationwide fixed their collective gaze upon the twin engines of the Yankees' offensive juggernaut. All the way through August, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig traded round-trip clouts, each reaching forty-five before the latter broke stride, leaving Ruth to march that final mile to baseball history alone. The Babe would hit three homers in the final two games to reach an even five dozen and reaffirm his status as the king of the baseball world. His sidekick Lou Gehrig would settle for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

These ultimate Yankee legends appear among the thirty Champs pictured in this marvelous team pose, shot against the slowly-filling grandstand of the old Stadium. Each and every man pictured has autographed his image, from the Hall of Fame immortals all the way down to long-serving trainer Doc Woods and hunchbacked batboy/lucky charm Eddie Bennett. While the photo itself exhibits some signs of its advanced age, with scattered creasing and cracking of the photographic emulsion, and some toning in the lower right quadrant, the autographs themselves remain stunningly bold, rating a consistent 9/10 throughout in blue fountain pen ink with the single exception of Bennie Bengough, victim of an errant brush of the hand that minimally smears his surname to deduct a point from his grade. The cast, of characters, from left to right, top to bottom:

Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, Babe Ruth, Wilcy Moore, George Pipgras, Earle Combs, Don Miller, Waite Hoyt, Tony Lazzeri, Mark Koenig, Urban Shocker, Cedric Durst, Bob Shawkey, Joe Giard, John Grabowski, Charles O'Leary, Miller Huggins, Arthur Fletcher, Herb Pennock, Julie Wera, Pat Collins, Doc Woods, Dutch Ruether, Joe Dugan, Ben Paschal, Bennie Bengough, Myles Thomas, Mike Gazella, Ray Morehart, Eddie Bennett.

A letter of provenance from the consignor notes that this photo was a gift to his grandmother from a member of the team whose exact identity has been lost to history. The letter also notes that the photo, having been rolled for decades of storage, underwent a professional restoration, but we must stress that the autographs were in no way altered by the process. The full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA attributes Lazzeri's signature to a clubhouse worker, but assures that the balance is 100% original and authentic. Certainly among the most spectacular autographed relics to derive from Murderer's Row, this is a solid cornerstone for the finest of private collections. Photo 7x9.5", professionally matted and framed to 14x16". Full LOA from James Spence Authentication. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Letter of provenance from consignor.


Service and Handling Description: Framed - with Glass, Medium (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
August, 2013
1st-2nd Thursday-Friday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 13
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 2,764

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