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    1916 "Wild Bill" Donovan Signed Photograph from The Frank W. Smith Collection, PSA/DNA Type 1.
    This is one of the toughest Yankee autographs there is, as Donovan was killed in a train crash in 1923 at the age of forty-seven. Donovan earned his "Wild Bill" nickname for walking nine consecutive batters at Hartford in the minors, but he enjoyed a twenty-season Major League career nonetheless, including three seasons as manager of the New York Yankees (1915-17). He is in the midst of that service in this image, which he signs, "W.E. Donovan, Wild Bill, June 16, 1916, Mgr. NY Americans." PSA/DNA has ruled that the "W.E.D." of this signature has been strengthened, though they believe it was done in Donovan's own hand. Photographer Smith himself signs and dates the image at lower right. All ink is 9/10 (beyond a bit of smudging) and photo is NRMT, measuring 9x6.75". This appears to be the third Donovan autograph to appear in a major sports auction, and the first signed image.

    Heritage regulars will recall our February 2015 presentation of The Frank W. Smith Collection, a stunning array of signed photographs from the personal collection of a Cleveland-based photographer who documented the Naps' spring training exercises prior to the 1911 baseball season. Most notable within the collection was the finest known signed photograph of "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, arguably the most coveted signed baseball image ever offered.

    The collection was consigned to Heritage by the person who purchased it from the Smith family, but they apparently didn't get it all. We were contacted after the auction by descendants of Smith, who consigned several photos that were not part of the initial sale. Full LOA from PSA/DNA, Type 1. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 454

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