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Description

Extraordinary provenance includes period newspaper clippings, letter from Foxx himself!

1930 Jimmie Foxx Game-Winning Home Run Baseball from World Series Game Five. Santa Fe Railroad conductor R.H. Wilson excitedly recounted the moment to an Associated Press journalist: "Oh, boy! I watched that ball come through the air. It was headed straight for me. The crowd stood with me, arms outstretched to catch it. I never took my eyes off that ball, and I caught it right in the center of both hands. It sure had force. It stung, but I held onto it." That ancient newspaper clipping is just the beginning of a remarkable compilation of period paperwork that establishes this offering as one of the most thoroughly documented pre-war home run baseballs in the hobby today. In another clipping, Wilson is pictured posing with the ball, while a third reports that "Wilson said he planned to send the ball to Connie Mack with the request that Foxx autograph it." The articles remain affixed to ancient scrapbook pages along with a bleacher ticket for the contest, priced at an even dollar.

The home run may actually have trumped Babe Ruth's as the first World Series "Called Shot," according to Mark Millikin's definitive biography Jimmie Foxx: The Pride of Sudlersville: "Foxx said, 'I felt I was going to break up the game with a home run. During batting practice, I hit three home runs in the stand, and before the battle started, I told Mickey Cochrane and several other players I would win the game with a big blow.' Before grabbing his bat, Foxx yelled back to the players on the bench, 'I'll bust up the game right now!' Jimmie caught one of Grimes' high, fast, curveballs and walloped it into the left-center field bleachers (the same spot as his homers in batting practice) as a stunned crowd at Sportsman's Park looked on. 'When I saw that curve come whizzing at me, I swung. It was one of the greatest swings that ever left my shoulders,' Foxx said."

Presented for the first time to the collecting community is that baseball, launched for a two-run blast off Hall of Fame St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Burleigh Grimes in the top of the ninth inning of Game Five at Sportsman's Park, the only scoring in a victory that would bring the mighty Mack Men within a single game of their World Championship destiny. The red and black stitched ONL (Heydler) ball does indeed bear Foxx' signature on the sweet spot in 9/10 black fountain pen ink, joined by those of Athletics teammates Grove, Mack, Cochrane (4/10), Earnshaw, Heving, Boley, McNair, Mahaffey, McDonald, Palmisano, Haas, Dykes (signed in ballpoint in 1961). Unless otherwise noted, signature quality rates 8/10 or better. Please note that PSA/DNA believes the autographs to be enhanced. The ball exhibits solid game use with one distinct bruise we must assume was left by Foxx' Louisville Slugger.

Wilson gifted the ball the following year to the baseball-crazed daughter of his close childhood friend, who apparently discussed the ball with an acquaintance of Foxx some two decades later, prompting the Hall of Fame slugger to write the young lady a letter. Dated "March 5, 1951," the typed text reads, "Dear Miss Byron, Mr. King who worked with you in St. Louis, wrote me and said that he believed you had the home run baseball I hit off Grimes in 1930 in Sportsman's Park during the World Series. He said perhaps I might be able to get the same from. I am very sure Mr. Bob Quinn, at the Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, N.Y. would be very glad to receive it if you would care to part with it. Sincerely, [signed] Jimmie Foxx." Autograph is secretarial, 9+/10. Original mailing folds, no other issues.

Further documentation from Miss Byron notes that the signatures were attained as the Athletics returned to St. Louis in the 1931 Series rematch, and a copy of the letter she mailed in response to Foxx' entreaty is likewise included, denying the request but rather cheekily asking for a signed photo at the close. Period newspaper clippings. Letter from Jimmie Foxx. Letter from owner since 1931. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

Service and Handling Description: Miscellaneous Collectibles, Large (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
August, 2012
2nd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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