The 1938 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the sixth playing of the Midsummer Classic between the stars of the American and National League. The game was held on July 6, 1938, at Crosley Field and resulted in the National League defeating the American League, 4-1. Signed at a 1938 All-Star reunion in the 1950s, this Official American League (Harridge) baseball (EX-MT) features 18 signatures including Mike Higgins, Lefty Grove, Earl Averill, Joe Cronin, Red Rolfe, Johnny Vander Meer, Lloyd Waner, Tom Henrich, Ernie Lombardi, Joe DiMaggio, Fritz Maisel, Bill Terry, Babe Phelps, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Medwick, Ival Goodman and Lefty Gomez (twice). Signatures average 8/10.
Ed Rommel had the unusual distinction of being a top-flight Major League pitcher, for the Philadelphia A’s (1920-1932), and then becoming a successful American League umpire (1938-1959). What a baseball life! What a great situation for him as a collector! Rommel, regarded as the father of the modern knuckleball, won 171 games, twice led the American League in wins, and pitched in a World Series. As an umpire, he took part in two World series, becoming only the third man to both play and umpire in the World Series. In between his long stints as a Big League pitcher and umpire, Rommel spent several years as a major league coach, a season as a minor league manager, and two years as a minor league umpire. Thus, Rommel was around baseball almost continually for forty years, and his long playing and umpiring careers gave him tremendous access to players and managers. As a collector, Rommel knew baseball personages from the early days of baseball through players who debuted in the 1950s and played into the 1970s. Thus, Rommel’s likeable personality and baseball connections meant that he could obtain practically any autograph or photo he desired. Thus, from Cobb and Hornsby and Home Run Baker; from Connie Mack, Ruth, Gehrig, and Foxx; from Mantle, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson, Ed Rommel obtained great autographs on baseballs and photos from players and managers who were only too happy to oblige their friend. A wonderful, unique find.