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    Circa 1906 Ty Cobb Signed Photograph to Grantland Rice. One early sporting legend sends his best regards to another. This exceptional century-old photograph of the Dead Ball Era's greatest superstar finds him at the infancy of his Major League career, with the white-collared navy jersey and pants he wears utilized only during Cobb's first two seasons (1905-06) in Detroit. The 7x9" image is inscribed to legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice, best remembered for naming the early 1920's Notre Dame backfield "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," and other such grandiose journalistic phrasings. Rice should have checked his facts in this case however, as he captions the verso of this photograph, "The Georgia Peach playing semi-pro ball in Georgia at the age of 16." He repeats the mistake in his 1954 book The Tumult and the Shouting, My Life in Sport, which actually reproduces this very signed photo in the illustrated section at the center of the text. Perhaps it was from Cobb himself that he received the misinformation, but this is unquestionably an early Tigers photo, and perhaps the very earliest of Cobb in a batting posture.

    The inscription to Rice is applied to the white area at the center of Cobb's wide batting stance. He writes, "To Grant, From His Friend, Ty." The ink maintains an average strength of 7/10, while any minor defects to the photo itself can only be spotted at certain angles to the light. By all accounts, this ancient print presents at a NRMT level. This "perfect storm" of condition, esteemed and rock-solid provenance, and status as perhaps the earliest signed Cobb image makes the offered lot one of the most significant autographed pieces from the Georgia Peach available in the hobby today. LOA from PSA/DNA. LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2008
    3rd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,394

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