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Early 1960's Whitey Ford Game Used Fielder's Glove....

2010 April Signature Sports Memorabilia Auction #717

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Auction Ended On: Apr 23, 2010
Item Activity: 3 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219
Early 1960's Whitey Ford Game Used Fielder's Glove.
"I didn't begin cheating until late in my career, when I needed something to help me survive. I didn't cheat when I won the twenty-five games in 1961. I don't want anybody to get any ideas and take my Cy Young Award away. And I didn't cheat in 1963 when I won twenty-four games. Well, maybe a little."

Everybody still loves Whitey, as well they should. Clear differentiations can and must be made between pitchers doctoring balls and the Frankenstein's monster-style cheating which comes in a hypodermic needle. The great Rogers Hornsby once admitted, "I've cheated, or someone on my team has cheated, in almost every single game I've been in." Fellow Hall of Famer John McGraw used to trip baserunners during his playing days, or grab them by the back of the belt. Baseball is the most purely American sport, and it wouldn't be if players failed to seek every competitive advantage.

This should not overshadow the fact that, during the period of this glove's usage, Ford was unquestionably the premier southpaw of the American League, with an astounding record of sixty-six wins and nineteen losses between the years of 1961 and 1963. The presented "Spalding 42-204 Rocky Colavito Personal Model" glove dates to either 1961 or 1962, with personal modifications blurring the line between the two. Part of the reasoning for the modification appears to the the insertion of a thumb tack into the webbing of the glove, allowing Ford to secretly gouge at the ball to alter its trajectory when pitched. Here we find hand-lettered capital block writing which reads "Cheat, Mud, Spit, Cut, Vaseline, Slippery Elm," a laundry list of methods to doctor pitched balls. It remains unclear who wrote these words, and when they were applied, though the obvious author would be Ford himself. "Ford #16" is written boldly on the thumb of the glove, but again we are unable to assert definitively the time of its application. One must assume it dates to the period of Ford's ownership, and was applied by Ford or the clubhouse staff.

Use is very strong, indicating a season of action and quite possibly more. Black sharpie autograph on the pinky is 10/10. With its ideal vintage, royal parentage and unique "conversation piece" attributes, this is a glove which deserves placement at front row center of your trophy case. LOA from Joe Phillips. LOA from Denny Esken. Pre-certified by PSA/DNA (autograph). Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).

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