Description1919 Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown Single Signed Baseball. "That old paw served me pretty well in its time," Brown once said of the injured hand that earned him the "Three Finger" nickname. "It gave me a firmer grip on the ball, so I could spin it over the hump. It gave me a greater dip." A childhood farming accident proved to be the ultimate blessing in disguise for the 1949 posthumous Hall of Fame inductee, whose 2.06 career ERA is third best in baseball history after Ed Walsh and Addie Joss. But Brown's brilliance has proven to be inversely proportional to the availability of his autograph, which rarely surfaces in any format, much less the single signed baseball representation featured here.
In fact, our comprehensive database of results for all major sports auctions over the past dozen years finds not one example of a Brown single, suggesting that bidding for this remarkably well preserved specimen will be spirited. The ONL (Heydler) orb was autographed just a week short of the three year anniversary of Brown's last pitching appearance, a contest all the more historically significant for the fact that it was likewise the last start for the great Christy Mathewson. Brown's black fountain pen ink signature is luxuriously large on the sweet spot, and the "Aug 28th, 1919" notation on the side panel appears to have been rendered by the right-handed ace as well. The ball is lightly and evenly toned, with bold stamping. A rock-solid representation of one of the hobby's most elusive singles. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
Late addition: Our consignor relates to us that the ball was given by Brown to his grandfather, Ross C. Harriott, the treasurer of the 3-I League who signed Brown to coach the Terre Haute team, which was subsequently renamed the Terre Haute Browns in his honor.
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