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Lot # 42: 1947 Don Black No-Hitter Signed Game Used Baseball

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From Don Black's remarkable no-hitter is this game used and signed ball from that historic game on July 10, 1947. Signed to friend, ex-player and umpire Eddie Rommel, the inscription reads, "To Ed Rommel Best Wishes Don Black, July 10, 1947." While in Eddie Rommel's collection, this ball unfortunately was found by the family dog and some teeth marks are present. They do affect the signature and inscription but it is still readable. Not only was this ball "bitten" by an ex-umpires dog, it was also part of the first no-hitter thrown at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

 

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.

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