One of the finest relics to emerge from ribbon-cutting day at Cooperstown!1939 Hall of Fame Grand Opening Program Signed by Ten Members of Inaugural Induction Class. A last-second rescue from a junk pile formed during spring cleaning of an elderly relative's attic supplies this Platinum Night auction with one of the most important autographed relics to enter the hobby in recent years. In fact, even the publication itself, released in conjunction with the June 1939 Baseball Centennial celebrations at Cooperstown, is exceedingly rare and highly coveted by collectors. This example is, to the best of our knowledge, the only autographed model to reach the hobby's auction block.
The twenty-four page booklet opens with black and white photography of the newly constructed museum and the bucolic setting on the shores of Otsego Lake, transitioning into biographical text regarding Abner Doubleday and his controversial title as the Father of Baseball. But the true thrill begins at page eighteen, which begins seven pages of photography of the first bronze plaques hung in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Every one belonging to a legend alive to attend the Grand Opening is autographed in 9/10 or better black fountain pen ink.
The roster, in order of appearance: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Larry Lajoie, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Connie Mack.
The inside rear cover adds eleven more immortals to the signing roster, overwhelmingly participants in the exhibition game played at Doubleday Field on Induction Day: Arky Vaughan, Carl Hubbell, Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg, Billy Herman, Charlie Gehringer, Bill Terry, Lefty Grove, Gabby Hartnett, Dizzy Dean and 1939 inductee George Sisler, as the 1939 class is not pictured with the other inaugural class members for some reason. Signatures here are likewise as bold as they were the date of application.
A heavy vertical fold runs through the center of all pages, remaining clear of all inaugural class autographs. Otherwise the rare and important publication exhibits no other flaws of consequence. A thrilling rarity for the advanced autograph collector. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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