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    1943 Monterrey B.B.C. Mexican League Signed Photograph & Baseball with Campanella. "One of the main reasons I came back to Mexico," shortstop Willie "El Diablo" Wells told the Pittsburgh Courier in 1944, "is because I've found freedom and democracy here, something I never found in the United States. Here in Mexico, I am a man." With the spectre of Jim Crow still hanging over Major League Baseball in 1943, Roy Campanella was one of many top African-American athletes to share Wells' sentiment regarding baseball south of the border. This fascinating pair of artifacts date from the Hall of Fame catcher's earliest professional baseball days as a representative of the Monterrey Base Ball Club. A large (10x14") and beautiful sepia-toned photograph pictures the squad posing before a rickety grandstand populated by young Mexican fans. Each pictured player has signed ink ink ranging from 3/10 to 8/10, with the vast majority at the high end of that spectrum. Campy's signature is among the darkest, with a touch of wear lightening the final two letters of his first name. His Baltimore Elite Giants teammate Thomas "Pee Wee" Butts, who jumped ship to Mexico with Campy due to a contract dispute with owner Tom Wilson, offers an autograph of equal strength. A heavy vertical center crease bisects the image, and there appears some foxing at upper right, but these factors do little to detract from the considerable eye appeal. Matted and framed to 15x18" in size The accompanying ball offers sixteen strong ink signatures from the squad, with Campy a bit cramped near the sweet spot but bold and dark nonetheless. The ball has toned to a dark beige hue, and a lighter patch on an empty panel may have once held a removed inscription. The pair of rare artifacts derives from the estate of Monterrey third baseman Ramon Heredia. LOA from Steve Grad & Zach Rullo/ PSA DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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