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    The peerless feat is complete!

    1938 Johnny Vander Meer Last Out Baseball from Second of Two Consecutive No-Hitters. Nighttime itself was upstaged on June 15, 1938 as a masterful pitching performance by visiting Cincinnati Reds left-hander Johnny Vander Meer shone even brighter than the newly installed light towers at Ebbets Field. The famous Brooklyn ballpark became the second Major League stadium to host a night game on this date, the first coincidentally being Crosley Field, home park of the Reds. Attendance swelled beyond capacity to 40,000, all drawn like moths to the glowing spectacle, which included marching bands and a series of pre-game sprinting exhibitions from four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Jesse Owens.

    But as the contest itself progressed, a thrilling new story took shape. Vander Meer was wild, walking eight, but his stuff was electric. Slowly even the Dodgers fans themselves switched their allegiance, cheering every successive out as the young hurler edged closer to an unprecedented achievement. Vander Meer mowed down Woody English (batting for Luke Hamlin), Kiki Cuyler and Johnny Hudson in the eighth, fanning the first and third men. The Reds were likewise retired in order to start the ninth, and Vander Meer returned to the mound for the bottom half, retiring Buddy Hassett on a weak grounder back to the mound.

    But then the pressure appeared to grab hold as Vander Meer walked the next three batters to load the bases. Ernie Koy stepped to the plate and grounded to Reds third baseman Lew Riggs, who so carefully and deliberately threw to home for the force that a double play was impossible. Finally Hall of Fame legend Leo Durocher entered the batter's box and, after a frightening liner that hooked foul, sent this baseball on a lazy arc into the glove of center fielder Harry Craft to cap the dramatic feat.

    Like the first no-hitter last out ball that precedes this lot, this sphere was notated with the details of the achievement, "June 15, 1938, Cinn 6-11-0, Brooklyn 0-0-2, Vander Meer, Lombardi" and subsequently autographed by the Reds team. Twenty-two autographs appear on the ONL (Frick) sphere including manager and Hall of Famer Bill McKechnie, Ernie Lombardi, Edd Roush, Bucky Walters, Lew Riggs, Willard Hershberger and more (no Vander Meer). Autographs range from 1/10 to 8/10 beneath a vintage coating of shellac.

    As reported in the preceding lot, Vander Meer's masterful four days in the summer of 1938 created one of the most unassailable records in the history of our National Pastime, and the two baseball on offer within this Platinum Night auction serve as the most significant relics to emerge from those contests. Each was recently removed from a public display in Midland Park, NJ by a family friend of the Vander Meers, with his notarized letter of provenance. For the collector wishing to take his collection where none other can follow, these baseballs should be the most attractive of targets. 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: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,627

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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