Description

    Delivered to The Cy Young Museum with Lombardi's personal letter of provenance!

    1930's Ernie Lombardi Game Used Catcher's Mitt. Everything about the man was massive--his nose, his frame, and the power of his drives, which New York Times sportswriter Arthur Daley likened to "a shell leaving a howitzer." Despite being perhaps the slowest runner in Major League history, Lombardi claimed two National League batting titles during his seventeen-season career, a remarkable achievement for a nearly three hundred pound man who never beat out an infield grounder.

    Lombardi is considered one of the four catchers on the pre-war Mount Rushmore of the position, along with Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey and Gabby Hartnett, and many blame a grudge held against him by former Reds general manager and National League president Warren Giles for his long delay in joining the trio in the Hall of Fame. Though this enduring injustice would ultimately find a remedy in 1986, Lombardi passed away nearly a decade earlier, telling a sportswriter who spotted him working at an Oakland gas station shortly before his death, "They can take the Hall of Fame and you know what they can do with it."

    That bitterness was tempered somewhat by an entreaty from the owner of The Cy Young Museum in the state of Ohio, where Lombardi enjoyed his greatest success and fame. Seeking memorabilia to honor the greatest sports stars of his home state, Thomas Eakin wrote to the hulking backstop in his retirement, receiving the presented catcher's mitt in reply along with a brief note reading,

    "Tom: Sorry this is all I have to send you. [signed] Ernie Lombardi."

    That note, and the mailing label postmarked to six months before Lombardi's death, are included. A letter from Eakin himself will also attend.

    The glove is a top-of-the-line Ernie Lombardi model Goldsmith, the manufacturer's stamping light but still legible on the face. Marvelous game use is evident, with deep toning at the pocket and the outer edge of the thumb where Lombardi rested his right hand while set in his crouch. Our consignor has provided two images of Lombardi wearing what is almost certainly this glove, or at least an identical model. Certainly this photographic evidence, paired with the personal letter from Lombardi himself, establishes this as one of the most ironclad pre-war gloves ever to emerge in the collecting hobby. Letter of provenance from Ernie Lombardi. Letter of provenance from Thomas Eakin. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). LOA from Heritage Auctions.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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