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    The midway point of one of pitching's greatest achievements!

    1938 Johnny Vander Meer Last Out Baseball from First of Two Consecutive No-Hitters. Cy Young's 511 career victories. Nolan Ryan's 5,714 career strikeouts. Few records in American sports are as untouchable as these, but a strong contender is recalled in the presented lot, and the one that immediately follows. Never before June 1938, and never after, has a Major League pitcher recorded back-to-back no-hit performances. In a modern age when pitchers rarely even record consecutive complete games, we risk little by asserting that Vander Meer's feat will never be repeated.

    Presented is the ball that recorded the final out of the first contest, a three to nothing victory for the Cincinnati Reds over the visiting Boston Braves at Crosley Field. Vander Meer faced only one batter over the minimum, as base on balls recipient Gene Moore was doubled off first base in the fourth, and Tony Cuccinello walked in the fifth but was subsequently picked off after taking too large a lead off the bag. Only Braves third baseman Gil English was left on base at the end of the fifth, the third and final baserunner of for the visitors.

    Vander Meer was perfect through the final four innings, ultimately coaxing pinch hitter Ray Mueller into a five-three ground out with the ball presented here to complete the no-hitter. Reds first baseman Frank McCormick, the 1940 National League MVP, quickly delivered the ball to the twenty-three year old southpaw, who then passed it around the clubhouse to be autographed by the full team.

    An unknown hand, likely Vander Meer's own, notated the ONL (Frick) ball in bold block lettering with the relevant details: "Cinn 3-6-0, Boston 0-0-0, June 11, 1938." Twenty-two Reds autographs range from 1/10 to 7/10 beneath a vintage coating of shellac, and include Edd Roush, Ernie Lombardi, Lew Riggs, Ival Goodman, Harry Craft, the tragic Willard Hershberger, and, of course, Vander Meer himself.

    The ball is accompanied by a notarized letter of provenance from lawyer and son of a close friend of Vander Meer who received pitching lessons from the ace hurler as a child. He recounts retrieving the balls from a memorial display at the Midland Park (NJ) Public Library with Vander Meer's niece and executor of the Vander Meer trust. Notarized letter from Vander Meer friend/lawyer Peter A. Jeffer. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,162

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