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    Description

    1945 Josh Gibson Signed Baseball. He was known as "the black Babe Ruth" in his day, the most fearsome slugger in the Negro Leagues, but forever locked out of the Majors by the improperly termed "Gentlemen's Agreement" that stood until Jackie Robinson crossed the color line three months after Gibson's early death. Imperfect Negro League record keeping has mixed with Gibson's superior talents to create a folk hero of sorts, with estimates of the Hall of Fame catcher's home run tally reaching as high as 950.

    Chicago American Giants infielder Jack Marshall insisted for years that Gibson once delivered a Yankee Stadium home run over the third deck next to the left field bullpen, which would stand to this day as the only fair ball driven beyond the confines of the Bronx ballpark in its eighty-five year history. Satchel Paige asserted, "Josh was the greatest hitter I ever pitched to, and I pitched to everybody. Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle. None of them was as great as Josh." Fellow Hall of Famer Leo Durocher also weighed in on Gibson, claiming, "Everything said about him was true, and then some."

    Today, Gibson stands as one of the most coveted and challenging targets in the autograph collecting hobby, occupying the same rarefied air as "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, and for similar reasons. Both were famously excluded from the Major Leagues, and both suffered from limited literacy, signing only on rare occasion.

    This is actually the first signed baseball from Gibson that Heritage has offered in the past twelve years, a sphere of unknown breed (due to the fading of the manufacturer's stamping) but notated in an unknown hand, "7-18-45, Danville, Va." Nearby the only two autographs on the baseball are stacked together closely, that of Gibson and Robert T. Walker, who represented the Homestead Grays from 1945 through 1948. Each signature, and the handwritten notation, survive with impressive 9/10 boldness. The ball itself exhibits solid use and was likely plucked from that barnstorming contest in Danville for presentation to these Negro League stars. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2016
    17th-19th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,570

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

    Sold on Nov 18, 2016 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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