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    Exceedingly rare full-name-on-sweet-spot format

    1970's Roger Eugene Maris Single Signed Baseball. Put Roger Maris' heart in Mickey Mantle's body, and you would have created the greatest ballplayer that ever lived. As the pinstriped pair marched in tandem toward the most vaunted milestone in the sport in 1961, there was never any question of which was the greater talent. Call its genetics, or a gift from God, but baseball heroics always came easy to the kid from Commerce. For Roger Maris, achievement came only by pure force of will. "Maybe I'm not a great man," he told reporters as his tally grew, "but I damn well want to break the record."

    But how should one define greatness? Clearly Mickey Mantle's position in the baseball pantheon is secure, and deserved. But we'd posit that the most inspiring performances recorded on a baseball diamond have been delivered in the face of great adversity--by Hank Greenberg, by Jackie Robinson, and, yes, by Roger Maris, who was relentlessly bullied by the press and the bleachers of his home city even as he earned back-to-back American League MVP Awards.

    And so, for those of us who honor grit, and that stiff upper lip resolve that characterizes the American Work Ethic, it's heartening to see Rajah finally get his due. His Monument Park residence is entirely warranted, as is the enormous collecting interest in his woefully insufficient supply of single signed baseballs. But this is arguably the very best of that skimpy bunch, a single unlike any we've previously encountered. Like his humble Yankee predecessor Lou Gehrig, Maris almost never veered from the side panel when signing baseballs, but this rare departure on the provided Official American League (MacPhail) sphere is only half the story. Surely only at the direction of a friend, the reigning single season Home Run King supplied the rarest of autograph variations, signing "Roger Eugene Maris" in 9/10 blue ballpoint ink. A light coating of shellac has assigned a caramel tone to the horsehide, but has served its intended purpose of autograph preservation admirably. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    1970's Roger Eugene Maris Single Signed Baseball.

    *A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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