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    Description

    Circa 1940 Josh Gibson & Ray Brown Dual-Signed Baseball. He was known as "the black Babe Ruth" in his day, the most fearsome slugger in the Negro Leagues, but forever locked out of the Majors by the improperly termed "Gentlemen's Agreement" that stood until Jackie Robinson crossed the color line three months after Gibson's early death. Imperfect Negro League record keeping has mixed with Gibson's superior talents to create a folk hero of sorts, with estimates of the Hall of Fame catcher's home run tally reaching as high as 950. Chicago American Giants infielder Jack Marshall insisted for years that Gibson once delivered a Yankee Stadium home run over the third deck next to the left field bullpen, which would stand to this day as the only fair ball driven beyond the confines of the Bronx ballpark in its eighty-five year history.

    Satchel Paige asserted, "Josh was the greatest hitter I ever pitched to, and I pitched to everybody. Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle. None of them was as great as Josh." Fellow Hall of Famer Leo Durocher also weighed in on Gibson, claiming, "Everything said about him was true, and then some."

    Even the most casual baseball collector is aware that very few artifacts have survived from the days of the Negro Leagues, with most of the autographs populating the hobby penned by the hands of old men decades removed from their service to the game. Of course Josh Gibson's fatal stroke at age thirty-five made any such Negro League Reunion autographs from him an impossibility, and it is estimated that fewer than one dozen authentic Gibson autographs exist in the hobby today. Here we present one of the most appealing examples from that microscopic supply, one of just the tiniest handful of baseballs bearing the signature of the fabled slugger.

    The spectacular condition of the black ink application carries the piece past the limits of our wildest dreams, rating a bona fide 8.5/10. Just below Gibson's signature on the side panel of the provided Official American Association (Trautman) ball we find his Homestead Grays teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Ray Brown, one of the greatest pitchers of the segregated game. His autograph--likewise very rare as Brown passed away in 1965--rates 7/10. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2020
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,641

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