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    1934 Tour of Japan Team Signed Photograph.
    In 1934, the United States was in the midst of its Great Depression, which sparked a global financial crisis, and the world inched closer to a world war with the rise of Hitler in Germany and the growing influence of Japanese imperialism in the Pacific. When a band of top Major League Baseball players traveled to Japan that year for a series of exhibitions games, more was at stake than just sport. Politicians on both sides hoped that the their two nations shared love for the game of baseball could help quell some of the political tension that had built up between them as the United States and the Japanese Empire vied a foothold in China and naval supremacy in the Pacific theatre.

    Reports say that 500,000 people lined the streets of Ginza to welcome the Babe and the American baseball stars, with rows of Japanese fans as many as twenty deep. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig rode together and led the parade in an open limousine. People were hanging out of windows throwing confetti and the crowds were cheering for the players and screaming "Banzai Babe Ruth!" The Bambino reciprocated by waving both American and Japanese flags, one in each hand.

    The other members of the team included other bona fide baseball giants of the twentieth century: Boston's Beast, Jimmie Foxx; Detroit's Charlie Gehringer, the Mechanical Man; Lefty O'Doul, a two-time batting champion who was instrumental in growing the sport of baseball in Japan. (In fact, it was O'Doul who named Japan's most famous team, the Tokyo Giants, after his beloved New York Giants with whom he won a World Series title); Lefty Gomez, who won two pitching triple crowns and five World Series with the Yankees; and Connie Mack, the game's most celebrated and respected manager, who was active for every baseball season of the first half of the twentieth century.

    On offer here is a spectacular signed photograph from that iconic tour and a bridge between baseball and world history. All eighteen men pictured have signed in bold black fountain pen ink which averages a solid 8/10. The full cast, from left to right, top to bottom:

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

    Photograph measures 5.75x7.75" in size with a studio stamp pressed into lower right corner. NRMT. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from SGC Authentic.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2018
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,615

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