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    A Negro League legend gets his due...

    1972 Buck Leonard Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ring. They called him "the black Lou Gehrig," a commentary on the durability and consistency of the hard-slugging first baseman, as well as his position in the shadow of the "Babe Ruth" of the Homestead Grays, the legendary Josh Gibson. These two members of the 1943 and 1944 Negro League World Champions gained Cooperstown immortality together in 1972, and here we present the ring issued to Leonard that day as part of an induction class that included Sandy Koufax, Yogi Berra and Early Wynn.

    While Championship rings surface in the collecting hobby with some degree of regularity, induction rings such as the presented example are exceedingly rare, ranking among the most coveted items on award collectors' want lists. Earlier this year the Hall of Fame ring presented to fellow Negro League legend Satchel Paige in 1971 realized a price in excess of a quarter-million dollars at auction.

    A golden baseball is set into a black onyx stone on the face, encircled by raised text announcing, "Baseball Hall of Fame." Left shank is engraved "Buck Leonard" above figural baseball imagery. "Elected 6/8/72" is engraved below. Right shank records Leonard's position as "1st Baseman" above the Hall of Fame building in miniature, and engraved text reading, "The National Baseball Hall of Fame." Interior band is engraved "Buck Leonard" and stamped "Balfour 10K." Years of proud wear are evident, but the ring still presents wonderfully. Size nine.

    Leonard's induction speech given the day he was presented this ring ranks among the most famous ever delivered from the Cooperstown dais, calling the moment the greatest of his life, an honor he never dreamed possible as he labored in the segregated league. As such, this ring serves as a tribute not only to the achievement of one man, but also of the role in which our National Pastime has played in bringing greater justice to all Americans.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2014
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,339

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