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Finest example on Earth--one of three known!1926-27 Joe "Iron Man" McGinnity Single Signed Baseball. He worked in an iron foundry owned by his wife's family during the offseason, but Joe McGinnity's famous nickname took on a greater meaning as he established himself as the most durable arm in professional baseball. McGinnity became famous for pitching both halves of doubleheaders and recording an astonishing 434 innings of work for the 1903 New York Giants, a tally that led the Senior Circuit, as did his thirty-one victories. The following season he again surpassed four hundred innings, leading all National Leaguers with thirty-five victories and a microscopic 1.61 earned run average to run the pennant to the top of the Polo Grounds flagpole.
McGinnity pitched professionally until he was fifty-four years old, racking up 246 Major League wins and another 240 in the minors, a professional tally second only to the iconic Cy Young. He attributed his legendary durability to a delivery style that saw him alternate between overhand, sidearm and a bizarre underhand curve he nicknamed "Old Sal." Upon retirement, he mused upon his impossible genetics, "I've pitched for thirty years and I believe I've averaged over thirty games a season, and in all my experiences I've never had what I could truthfully call a sore arm."
Despite that unusually lengthy term of service to our National Pastime, McGinnity remains one of the most challenging obstacles for collectors of Hall of Fame autographs. For those concentrating upon single signed baseballs, the known population of verified targets stands at three. Presented is the finest example.
The Hall of Fame hurler's sweet spot black fountain pen inscription begins a bit light but very quickly ascends to the 7/10 level that characterizes the bulk of the writing: "JJ McGinnity, With Best Wishes." The medium is an Official National League baseball from the presidency of John Heydler, the specific stamping format narrowing the possible vintage to a two-year span not long before McGinnity's passing at age fifty-eight in 1929.
After failing to garner the necessary votes for induction upon seven different Baseball Writers ballots, McGinnity finally earned his long overdue bronze Cooperstown plaque in 1946 through the Veterans Committee, dooming thousands of future autograph collectors to failure. Heritage is pleased to offer what is likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape that otherwise certain fate. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas