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    Description

    1924 Walter Johnson Single Signed 1924 World Series Game Used Baseball Attributed to Championship Walk-Off Hit, PSA/DNA Auto 6.5.

    UPDATE: This lot now has a full LOA from Beckett.

    For more than two decades, this lanky farmboy terrorized the American League with white-hot velocity, mowing down opposing batters like wheat back in his Kansas home. He led the Junior Circuit in strikeouts a dozen times, and his 110 complete game shutouts is a record easily as secure as Cy Young's career victory tally of 511, the only man north of Johnson's 417. Just as remarkable as Johnson's skill was his longevity, earning his first pitching Triple Crown in 1913 (36 wins, 1.14 ERA, 243 K's) and his last at age thirty-six in 1924 (23 wins, 2.72 ERA, 158 K's).

    That vintage will always stand tallest in the legend of this inaugural class Hall of Famer who spent the vast majority of his career in the basement of the American League standings, only twice finishing within ten games of the pennant pace before the stunning capture of the flag in the 1924 season. It was an opportunity that the American League MVP was determined not to squander.

    Shockingly, the legendary flamethrower found himself on the losing end of the ledger in both his Game One and Game Five starts before getting a call to the bullpen to put him on the mound with the contest tied in the top of the ninth in the grand finale. He'd pitch three scoreless innings before Earl McNeely doubled home catcher Muddy Ruel in the bottom of the twelfth inning to secure the first World Championship of our national pastime for our nation's capital.

    An included letter of provenance from Johnson's grandson explains the ball was passed down to him by his mother, and was one of only three baseballs Johnson retained as souvenirs--"the last ball from his only no-hitter, his 100th shutout ball, and this ball." The letter states, "I believe this to be the ball Earl McNeely hit in the bottom of the 12th inning of the seventh game to win the game for Walter Johnson and the World Series for Washington, the greatest event of his spectacular career."

    The experts confirm that it is Johnson's own hand that inks "World's Series 1924" beside his bold black ink sweet spot signature, an autograph rated a magnificent 9/10 by the experts at PSA/DNA. A large "X" on the bottom panel of the ONL (Heydler) ball would absolutely be consistent with a mark made in the heat of the moment to ensure future identification for the proud World Champion, who was one bag behind Ruel at first when McNeely walked the Senators off.

    Johnson is probably the second toughest single (after G.C. Alexander) of all inaugural class Hall of Famers alive to participate in the 1939 ribbon cutting, and this ball would be worth a small fortune simply as an autographed specimen without any further context. But his booming black fountain pen ink autograph on a ball that was likely the decisive blow of his sole World Championship turns it into one of the most desirable signed baseballs we've ever presented at auction. Letter of provenance from Walter Johnson's grandson. Full Grading LOA from PSA/DNA (Auto 9, Ball 3). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2021
    18th-20th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,017

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