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Lot # 27: 1945 Walter Johnson Signed Check PSA MINT 9

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 11 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring Focus 2023",
which ran from 5/21/2023 7:00 PM to
6/3/2023 10:00 PM

Known as "The Big Train," and also as "Barney," Walter Johnson was a Hall of Fame right-handed pitcher who won an amazing 417 games, the second most in the Major Leagues of all time. Presented is a 1945 Walter Johnson PSA graded "Gem Mint 9" signed check. Johnson spent his entire 21-year Major League playing career with the Washington Senators (1907-27). He had a lifetime 417-279 record with a career ERA of 2.17. Judged from the perspective of today's baseball, in which the Major League leader in the most recent complete season, 2022, had merely three (3) complete games, Johnson's still all-time record of 110 shut-outs seems unapproachable as does his standing as 4th overall in Major League complete games, at 531. Johnson was 6'0" and weighed 200 pounds, yet he generated tremendous force when he threw. How was this possible? One clue is the length of his arms. As seen in Michaelangelo's famous drawing of a man with his arms outstretched, showing the arm width equal to a man's height, an average man's arm width is equal to his height. No so with "The Big Train". Johnson had a height of 72 inches and an arm width of 78.5 inches. Thus, his long arms enabled him to throw the ball with a whip like motion, propelling it at such speeds towards home plate that Johnson was concerned that he could kill a batter with an errant pitch. Rival Ty Cobb used to take advantage of Johnson's kind nature and dig in at the plate, aware that the humane Johnson would try not to accidentally hit the aggressive Cobb. The offered check is drawn on The Germantown Bank, of Germantown, Maryland, in the amount of $50.00 (fifty dollars). The check is dated Dec. 7, 1945, and it is made out to "Barbara Johnson," not Johnson's wife or daughter, but quite possibly another relative. Barbara Johnson has endorsed and cashed the check. Walter Johnson has filled out the check and signed it with blue ink from a fountain pen, and his script, particularly his signature, is clearly and neatly written. Johnson's long right arm struck out 3,508 Major League hitters, an all-time MLB record until three pitchers broke it in 1983: Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, and Gaylord Perry. Walter Johnson used his famous famous right arm to sign the offered check, an apt way to preserve his signature. The check has been encapsulated and PSA/DNA certified as Mint 9.

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