Description1934 Tour of Japan Team Signed Baseball--A Magnificent Example. In 1934, the United States was in the midst of its Great Depression, which sparked a global financial crises, and the world inched closer to a world war with the rise of Hitler in Germany and the growing presence of Japanese imperialism in the Pacific. When a band of the best American major league baseball players traveled to Japan that year for a series of exhibitions games, more was at stake than just sport. Politicians on both side hoped that the their two nations shared love for the game of baseball could help quell some of the political tension that had built up between them as the United States and the Japanese Empire vied a foothold in China and naval supremacy in the Pacific theatre.
Reports say that 500,000 people lined the streets of Ginza to welcome the Babe and the American baseball stars, with rows of Japanese fans as many as twenty deep. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig rode together and led the parade in an open limousine. People were hanging out of windows throwing confetti and the crowds were cheering for the players and screaming "Bonzai Babe Ruth!" The Bambino reciprocated by waving both American and Japanese flags, one in each hand.
The other members of the team included other bona fide baseball giants of the twentieth century: Boston's Beast, Jimmie Foxx; Detroit's Charlie Gehringer, the Mechanical Man; Lefty O'Doul, a two-time batting champion who was instrumental in growing the sport of baseball in Japan. (In fact, it was O'Doul who named Japan's most famous team, the Tokyo Giants, after his beloved New York Giants with whom he won a World Series title); Lefty Gomez, who won two pitching triple crowns and five World Series with the Yankees; and Connie Mack, the game's most celebrated and respected manager, who was there for every baseball season of the first half-century.
On offer here is a spectacular signed baseball from that iconic tour and a bridge between baseball and world history. "Official Nippon Ball" is signed in fountain pen by eleven members of that historic team, including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig on adjacent side panels, Connie Mack alone on the sweet spot, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty O'Doul, Charlie Gehringer, Lefty Gomez, outfielder Bing Miller, pitchers Earl Whitehill and Joe Cascarella, and umpire John Quinn. Autographs are bold, beautiful, and well-spaced, 9/10. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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