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    Perfectly matches example in collection of Pro Football Hall of Fame!

    1954 Cleveland Browns NFL Championship Game Used Football. It's a tradition nearly as old as the sport itself. Since the late nineteenth century, important gridiron victories have been commemorated with pigskin utilized in the contest, hand painted and delivered to the game's most valuable player, team owners, VIP's, or simply put upon display in the team clubhouse. Here we present an exceptionally desirable example certain to bring a smile to the luckless but resilient sports fans of Cleveland, who have little cause for celebration in professional sports' post-war era.

    This official Wilson Thorp (Bert Bell) leather football was a participant in one of the most lopsided finales in NFL history, a fifty-six to ten massacre of Bobby Layne and Doak Walker's high-octane Detroit Lions team. It was the third consecutive meeting between the Lions and Browns in the NFL Championship, with the Lions claiming the first two editions, a fact that made this decisive 1954 victory all the more satisfying. The legendary Otto Graham passed for three touchdowns and rushed for three more in what was supposed to be the final game of his career (though Browns quarterback struggles in the 1955 preseason would lead coach Paul Brown to coax Graham out of retirement with a record salary).

    Graham is the first name listed on the full roster applied to the southern half of the painted hemisphere of this game used football, the top half featuring a wonderful Brownie mascot and text announcing, "1954 World Champions, Lions 10 Cleveland Browns 56." Six decades of storage is apparent in cracking of the thick paint, but the aesthetics remain strong and the great historical importance of the piece is entirely unaffected. The ball still holds air well.

    Those experiencing a sense of déjà vu when examining this ball are likely past visitors to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, where a ball painted by the same artist appears in the public collection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only 1954 NFL Championship game ball that exists in the private sector, so advanced football collectors are advised to bid accordingly.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2014
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,562

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Jul 31, 2014 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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