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Description1934 Tour of Japan Team Signed Cigarette Lighter Baseball from The Lou Gehrig Collection. We all know that smoking is dangerous, but the true vintage baseball fan must still show the addiction some grudging gratitude. Without the siren's song of nicotine, the hobby would lack its greatest trading card era, and Honus Wagner wouldn't be its million dollar baby. But of course it was the Babe's ubiquitous cigar that fueled his early demise from throat cancer, and we'd bet his personal example of this unique Tour of Japan keepsake is the worse for wear because of his habit.
The Iron Horse, on the other hand, was at most a casual smoker, and the evidence survives in the remarkable condition of the offered lot. This specially crafted keepsake from baseball's most noteworthy foreign excursion exhibits a stunning absence of handling, the lighter forgotten for decades within its original, included box.
It's interesting to note that this is a baseball specially made for its service as a cigarette lighter, a fact made apparent when viewing the extra wide sweet spots of the sphere. One side sprouts the lighting mechanism, its wick still a virgin white. The bottom bears a tiny handwritten "G," designating the lighter for Gehrig. The four panels bear spectacularly preserved signatures from the following:
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Connie Mack, Lefty Gomez, Earl Averill, Charles Gehringer, Moe Berg, Earl Whitehill, Joe Cascarella, Frank Hayes, Clint Brown, Bob Schroeder, Rabbit Warstler, John Quinn, Doc Ebling, Bing Miller.
An unknown hand has penned "1934 Oriental Tour" on one panel, and "All American Baseball Team" on the opposing side. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Balls, Pucks, etc. - Encased, Small (view shipping information)
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas