One of the toughest singles of Hall of Famers alive in the post-war era!1956 Napoleon "Larry" Lajoie Single Signed Baseball. He was born to French Canadians who emigrated to the United States, named for the famous conqueror but often called "Larry," a nickname he picked up when a teammate struggled with the pronunciation of his surname. Like his contemporary Shoeless Joe Jackson, Lajoie was a grade school dropout who worked in a textile mill as a boy and quickly showed talent in industrial league play. As word of his slugging prowess spread, Lajoie rose through the semi-professional ranks to the Class B New England League Fall River Indians, and then almost immediately to the Majors for six years in Philadelphia with the Phillies and Athletics. But it was Lajoie's time in Cleveland for which he is best remembered, his popularity so great that the team was dubbed the "Naps" in his honor.
Though Lajoie managed briefly following his retirement as a player, he was out of the game completely by 1918 and rarely within range of autograph seekers as a result. He was a regular signer through the mail, but postcards were the medium used almost exclusively. Signed horsehide remains frustratingly scarce.
Here we present a specimen that compares favorably to our November 2013 offering that garnered just short of $60,000 in intense bidding. Like that example, the standard "Larry Lajoie" autograph format is underscored by the date (1-12-57) but otherwise unadorned by personalization or sentiment. The ball is a non-official model with some light toning well clear of the autograph. Lajoie's ink survives with impressive 8.5/10 boldness, placing it near the top of the thin population. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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2018 November 15-16 Fall Sports Card Catalog Auction