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    Description

    1934 Tour of Japan Team Signed Sheet Display. It was a baseball story that had it all--an exotic locale, a superstar cast, and even a dose of international espionage. It's little wonder that the 1934 Tour of Japan continues to fascinate a full eight decades after Ruth, Gehrig and the boys were welcomed by a half million fans lined ten to twenty deep on the streets of Tokyo in a blizzard of confetti. Though the Babe had never set foot on Asian shores prior to the Tour, magazines such as Yakyukai and Asahi Sports had long trumpeted his exploits in America, and he drew the loudest ovations as he rode in an open limousine with his Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig in the parade motorcade. For a month, the American Tourists enjoyed the hospitality and adulation of the people of Japan, playing eighteen exhibition games in a dozen cities, winning every one of them.

    Absent was any evidence of the increasing political tension between the two nations, The New York Times reporting, "The Babe's big bulk today blotted out such unimportant things as international squabbles over oil and navies." But seven years later a "date that will live in infamy" provided insight into an unusual roster addition. While the Hall of Fame cast of characters hand-picked by Connie Mack represented the best of the Majors, a light-hitting Ivy Leaguer named Moe Berg had been tapped for Japanese duty by the United States government. In the guise of an excited tourist, the catcher/spy documented the trip in film that would be used for bombing strikes during the Second World War.

    The eight and a half decades and Pacific Ocean that separate this historic Tour from present day America have greatly complicated the search for relics from the game's most famous foreign excursion, and the provided example is found at the top of most collectors' want lists. This team sheet once inhabited the exceedingly rare leatherbound volume that was created only for players and VIP's associated with the Tour, later removed to be showcased in the framed display here.

    It's an unlined sheet autographed in 9/10 or better fountain pen ink by the nineteen members of the American contingent and their translator. The cast, in order of signing:

    Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Frank (Lefty) O'Doul, Bing Miller, Lefty Gomez, Eric McNair, Rabbit Warstler, Frank Hayes, Charlie Gehringer, Earl Averill, John Quinn, Joseph Cascarella, Robert Schroeder, Doc Ebling, Lou Gehrig, Moe Berg, Earl Whitehill, Jimmie Foxx, Clint Brown, Sotaro Suzuki.

    The 11x7.5" sheet survives in spectacular condition, each and every signature applied in 9/10 or better ink. It is matted and framed beneath a photograph of the team, likewise harvested from one of the official albums, the Japanese studio imprint visible at lower right corner. Photo measures 9x12". Framed dimensions 30x20". Full LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    10th-13th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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