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    The only known example extant.

    1909 Joe McGinnity Signed Promissory Note. He pitched professionally until the age of fifty-four, notching 246 victories in the Majors and another 240 in the minors, a combined total exceeded only by the legendary Cy Young. While his legendary durability may have been a gift of genetics, his varied delivery style--overhand, sidearm and a bewitching underhanded curve he nicknamed "Old Sal"--is often credited as well. "I've pitched for thirty years and I believe I've averaged over thirty games a season," McGinnity once explained, "and in all my experiences I've never had what I could truthfully call a sore arm."

    But if Iron Joe's legacy in baseball history is one of uncanny endurance, the opposite is true when it comes to the collectibles market. This Platinum Night event brings to five the count of all McGinnity autographs sold within a major sports collectibles auction in the twenty-first century, making even Giants rotation-mate Christy Mathewson seem downright common by comparison. If we are to subdivide known examples even further, we find just the presented lot in the census of signed checks/notes for the posthumous 1947 Hall of Fame inductee.

    McGinnity supplies a solid 9/10 blue fountain pen signature just above that of H.C. Smith, the Newark Indians team owner whose black ink appears throughout the rest of the check. Smith had been a station agent for the Chicago & Alton Railroad as a young man who came to idolize McGinnity as he watched him pitch for county teams near Springfield during the 1890's. Smith would find his fortune in the brokerage business and, upon hearing that McGinnity had been released from the Giants to end his Major League career, he bought the Newark club and installed his hero as manager. Also here are three typed signed letters authored by Smith, each relating to "Newark Base Ball Club & Amusement Co." business.

    It should be noted that McGinnity served as the team's treasurer as well, a role that would explain his appearance upon this official bank document.

    The promissory note exhibits heavy storage fold lines which have separated slighly at the edges but the document still remains solid and complete. Clearly the singular rarity of the piece renders as outrageous any condition quibbles, particularly when considering how minimally Iron Joe's autograph is affected. Many advanced baseball autograph collectors are likely to consider this the top offering of 2014. LOA from Kevin Keating. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2014
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,908

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