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    Description

    Cleveland's first great baseball star

    1956 Napoleon "Larry" Lajoie Single Signed Baseball. He was born to French Canadians who emigrated to the United States, named for the famous conqueror but often called "Larry," a nickname he picked up when a teammate struggled with the pronunciation of his surname. Like his contemporary Shoeless Joe Jackson, Lajoie was a grade school dropout who worked in a textile mill as a boy and quickly showed talent in industrial league play. As word of his slugging prowess spread, Lajoie rose through the semi-professional ranks to the Class B New England League Fall River Indians, and then almost immediately to the Majors for six years in Philadelphia with the Phillies and Athletics. But it was Lajoie's time in Cleveland for which he is best remembered, his popularity so great that the team was dubbed the "Naps" in his honor.

    Though Lajoie managed briefly following his retirement as a player, he was out of the game completely by 1918 and rarely within range of autograph seekers as a result. He was a regular signer through the mail, but postcards were the medium used almost exclusively. Signed horsehide remains frustratingly scarce.

    Remarkably, this baseball was autographed the same day as an example that commanded $59,750 in our November 2013 Signature auction. The format is likewise identical, an Official American League baseball of the William Harridge presidency. Lajoie's side panel application is a shade darker here, at 9/10. It rates with the absolute finest of the razor-thin population. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,408

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