Description1986 Fidel Castro Single Signed Cuban Baseball.
In the 1980's, Indianapolis civic leaders had decided to build the city's future around amateur sports and was building facilities that would attract events which would provide revenue for the city to rebuild its downtown area. Indianapolis had originally planned to bid for the 1991 Pan American Games but, because two other countries had backed out of hosting the 1987 Pan American Games, organizers asked Indianapolis to step in and host the 1987 Games instead.
However, there were two big hurdles to clear, besides getting the city "games-ready" and raising the necessary funds. First, Fidel Castro wanted Cuba to host the 1987 Games and second, there were no diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba to permit the Cuban delegation of more than 600 athletes, coaches, media and staff to travel the U.S. After Castro was told that Cuba could host the 1991 Games, an organizing group for the Games, called Pan American X-Indianapolis (PAXI), decided to send a delegation to Havana in April 1986 to discuss transportation and security issues with their Cuban counterparts.
The Cuban baseball on offer here was one of only about a dozen which were personally signed by the dictator at the Palace of the Revolution for the American reporters. It is stamped in jet black "Inder L.P.V." with "Batos Hecho En Cuba" above and "Industria Deportiva Official 5 Onz. No. 2" below. Beautiful, lone signature on side panel in fine, blue ink reads "Fidel Castro." Ball is off-white but in superb condition. Signature grades 9/10.
This lot is accompanied by a 1986 newspaper article reporting the circumstances surrounding Castro's signing of the Cuban-made baseballs for members of the PAXI delegation, a letter of provenance from the Indianapolis journalist who obtained the autograph and consigned it to this auction, and a photograph of the consignor with Fidel Castro in Cuba as part of the delegation.
While endeavors to qualify his actions will always be open for debate, one point is not. And that is that Fidel Castro was one of the most influential human beings in history because he changed to world and affected millions of people's lives on a global scale for more than five decades. Here is a chance to own a piece of history, courtesy of a recently departed twentieth century icon. Letter of provenance from Kathleen Johnston. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.
Guide Value or Estimate: $15,000 - up.
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Balls, Pucks, etc. - Encased, Small (view shipping information)
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