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    The ultimate Maris single

    1961 Roger Maris "61 Home runs in 1961" Single Signed Baseball. When we think of endurance feats in baseball, the mind automatically travels to the streaks of Gehrig and Ripken, or even Joltin' Joe's fifty-six games of unfailing production in 1941. But we'd argue that the grit and determination shown by this humble slugger from North Dakota during the fabled 1961 season deserves similar recognition. Where the aforementioned legends enjoyed the support of friends (and even some foes) during their paths to the record, Maris was treated as an interloper, a pretender to the crown, even in his home ballpark. In the race between Mantle and Maris, the fan support was a landslide for the former, a fact that makes the victor's accomplishment all the more impressive.

    Maris' passing in 1985, just before the memorabilia boom that would flood the market with autographs from Mantle, DiMaggio and Williams, has ensured that supply will always lag far behind demand for Rajah's signature. And due perhaps to his famous humility, or the fact that such notations were rarely sought in the earliest days of the hobby, Maris almost never provided more than a personalization to his single signed baseballs. The few "modern" spheres to make note of his most celebrated season carry an enormous premium in the collectibles market, but this specimen rates high above even that limited and coveted supply.

    A signed letter of provenance from the son of Murray Goodman, an International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee for his long career as a promoter and Madison Square Garden publicity director, explains that the elder Goodman acquired the presented single from Maris at the 1961 Hickok Belt award ceremony, where the new Home Run King quite expectedly took top honors. Applied to the side panel of an OAL (Cronin) sphere, the same model directed over the right field wall on October first to bust the Babe, is the slugger's 7/10 black ink inscription, "Roger Maris, 61 Home runs in a year 1961." That says it all. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Letter of provenance from son of original owner.


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2013
    1st-2nd Thursday-Friday
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