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Lot # 547: Only Known Thurman Munson "MVP 1976" Inscribed Single-Signed Baseball (PSA)

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 24 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2023 Fall Classic",
which ran from 10/29/2023 7:00 PM to
11/18/2023 10:00 PM

Presented is a rare and prized collectible, the only known "Thurman Munson MVP 1976" single-signed baseball that we have ever seen. It was acquired by our consignor, who was friendly with Munson, and the consignor requested a signed baseball with the MVP 1976 inscription and Munson delivered. Munson was born in Akron, Ohio in 1947, and according to baseball writer Bill James, "Four of the top 21 catchers in baseball history were born in 1947: Bench, Fisk, Boone, and Munson." Munson showed his leadership potential at Lehman High School in Canton, as Thurman was the team captain in baseball, basketball, and football. Munson played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues, all with the New York Yankees. Munson was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1970. He was a 7-time All-Star, a 3-time Gold Glove winner, a 2-time World Series winner. He batted a career .292, with 113 home runs, and 701 RBIs. Of course, Thurman's best season was his '76 AL MVP year. He batted .302, with 17 homers and 105 RBIs, and took the Yankees to the World Series, where the New Yorkers were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, yet Munson hit .529 in that Series with two RBIs and two runs scored. Munson's leadership resulted in his becoming the first Yankee captain since Lou Gehrig. Munson had been flying planes for about a year when, on August 2, 1979, on an off-day, he was practicing take-offs and landings at Akron-Canton Regional Airport near his Canton, Ohio home. Munson had learned to fly so that he could fly home to Ohio on his off days to see his family. Unfortunately, Munson's Cessna Citation jet plane crashed. His two passengers lived, but Munson passed away when he was caught in the burning plane and could not be rescued. On the day following the crash, the Yankees played a home game and took the field without a catcher, in a mark of respect for Thurman. After a rendition of "God Bless America" by opera star Robert Merrill, the Yankee Stadium fans gave the missing Yankee captain an eight-minute standing ovation. Then, public address announcer Bob Shepard announced that it was time for the game, and Munson's substitute catcher, Jerry Narron, trotted onto the field. Yankees manager Lou Piniella said this about Munson on that night: "In all the years I've played the game, he was the finest competitor I have ever seen, the most professional, the best team player." The baseball is an Official American League (MacPhail) ball. Munson has signed and inscribed the ball in blue ink from a ballpoint pen. Munson neatly scripted "Thurman Munson MVP 1976." The ball exhibits some minor darkening and toning, and there is a tiny spot along a seam where the skin of the ball has rubbed off, but the ball is in otherwise excellent condition. The signed and inscribed ball provides a wonderful Thurman Munson remembrance. The ball comes with a full PSA LOA.

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