The 1956 New York Yankees finished with a record of 97-57, won their 22nd pennant and finished nine games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. In the World Series, they once again defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games with the highlight being Don Larsen's perfect Game 5. To commemorate that wonderful season is this 1956 Yankees team-signed OAL (Harridge) ball (NRMT-MT) with 25 signatures including Yogi Berra (SS), Phil Rizzuto (SS), Ed Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Irv Noren, Tom Sturdivant, Andy Carey, Jim Konstanty, Elston Howard, Bob Turley, Bob Grim, Ed Ford, Ed Lopat and more. "UM" written on the ball indicating it was saved for the umpire Eddie Rommel. One of the best 1956 balls we have handled, signatures are all in blue ink and 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.