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    1946 Ty Cobb & Honus Wagner Signed Baseball with Incredible Provenance! Almost a century has passed since that early October day in 1909 when the two greatest figures of the Dead Ball era finally met on the field of battle, as the Pirates and Tigers found themselves competing for the Championship in the sixth edition of the World Series. And since that day we have seen many great pairings of teammates and rivals--Ruth and Gehrig, DiMaggio and Williams, Mantle and Maris--but Cobb and Wagner was the first, and rarely did a discussion of the brilliance of one fail to elicit some opinion of the other. Forever linked by their respective dominance of the early game, we nonetheless almost never find them sharing space on a signed baseball such as the one we proudly present here.

    The baseball comes to us from a gentleman who had the great fortune of meeting the Georgia Peach in person just after the close of the second World War. Having won an essay contest for which the prize was tickets to a Comiskey Park playing of the "All American Boys Baseball Game," twelve-year old Dennis Varvel was thrilled to find that the managers of the East and West teams were Wagner and Cobb respectively. As included newspaper clippings note, one of the event promoters "corralled Cobb and in a few minutes we had a picture of the 'Georgia Peach' gifting Dennis with an autographed baseball, signed by both East and West team managers. Wide-eyed Dennis gapped at the signatures of both Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner and decided right then and there that would be one baseball he'd keep for the rest of his life."

    Thankfully for our Heritage collecting family, this final statement did not prove to be entirely accurate, though Mr. Varvel did cherish the baseball for close to six decades before consigning it to our October Signature auction. And so this baseball, which is being passed from Cobb's right hand to Dennis' in the included 8x10" photo (printed in the newspaper clipping as well), is offered here for the first time to the collecting community. On the sweet spot of this "Official American Association" baseball is the blue ink inscription, "J. Honus Wagner, Pirates," while the side panel just above reads, "Ty Cobb, 8/6/46." Each presents as an impressive 6-7/10 in strength. Barely visible to the right of Wagner is the childlike autograph of Dennis Varvel, further verifying the iron-clad provenance of the piece. The ball itself is modestly and evenly toned and shows an absolute minimum of wear, clearly having been cherished from the moment it left Ty Cobb's hand and was placed in that of a wide-eyed kid from Chicago.

    More information about Ty Cobb.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2005
    29th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 462

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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