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    1958 Ty Cobb Signed "Spiking of Home Run Baker" Photograph, PSA/DNA Mint 9. It was one of the most controversial plays of the Dead Ball Era, and one that led the usually quiet and circumspect Connie Mack to proclaim that Cobb was "the dirtiest player in baseball history." It was late August and the rookie Frank Baker has been a key force in lifting the Philadelphia Athletics from the lower half of the American League standings in 1908 into a virtual deadlock with the Detroit Tigers entering the final month of the 1909 season.

    On a close play at third, Cobb's fabled spikes found their way into the meat of Baker's forearm, drawing blood and the ire of most of the city of Philadelphia. But a few days later, this very photo of the play snapped by a Detroit News photographer showed Baker reaching across the bag to tag Cobb, apparently vindicating him and leading the paper to proclaim Baker a "soft-fleshed darling" for his complaints.

    The debate lived on, however, and it was something that concerned Cobb even in the final years of his life, as his fascinating inscription would suggest. Though he is quoted in noted sportswriter Grantland Rice's famous book "The Tumult and the Shouting" as saying, "I only recall intentionally spiking one man in twenty-four years. He was Frank Baker, who was squarely in the path in a Philadelphia game. There was no other way to reach the base," he seems to contradict that statement here.

    His favored green ink at lower left of the provided 8x10" image reads, "To Doug Stewart, The 'so called' Baker spiking, From Ty Cobb." An unknown hand, like Stewart's, dates the inscription to "Father's Day 1958" at left border. The second-generation image is mounted on a cardboard backing and exhibits some creasing at the left corners, but nothing that distracts the eye significantly. Certainly one of the most important Cobb autographs we've presented. Full Grading LOA from PSA/DNA, Mint 9. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2017
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 10
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