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Lot # 1: 1939 Inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Signed Baseball with Original 11 Members (PSA)

Starting Bid: $20,000.00

Bids: 10 (Bid History)

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Fantastic find! June 12, 1939, Hall Of Fame Induction signed ball with 11 signatures: George Sisler, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Connie Mack, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Larry Lajoie, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner. After Cobb, Johnson, Matthewson, Ruth, and Wagner were elected as the original Hall of Fame Inductees in 1936, other players were added in the elections of 1937, 1938, and 1939. This ball is from the First Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on June 12, 1939, when members of the 1936-1939 classes were ceremonially inducted. Eddie Rommel, a former star pitcher with the Philadelphia A's, was there and got this signed at the Induction. Rommel pitched all of his 13 big league seasons with the Philadelphia A's, and despite winning 179 games and appearing in two World Series and thus holding thousands of baseballs in key situations, this ball is probably the most valuable baseball that Rommel ever held. Sometimes we see balls that are partially signed by the original members, and sometimes we see balls that were signed at the 1939 Induction but have other signatures on them. This one is the most desirable of all with all 11 living original members - no more, no less!!! Official American League (Harridge) baseball is a creamish color, but very consistent. There are a few minor light spots that look like rust. There was a clear coating of varnish applied to the ball very long ago; it is barley noticeable, but has preserved the signatures. We view the ball as being EXCELLENT. The signatures are all in ink. On the sweet spot is Connie Mack (7/10), with Grover Cleveland Alexander (5/10) below him; on the east panel are George Sisler (7.5/10), Cy Young (7.5/10), and Tris Speaker (7/10). On the west panel is Ty Cobb (7/10), all alone. On the north panel are Honus Wagner (5.5/10), Babe Ruth (8/10), Walter Johnson (6.5/10,) and Larry Lajoie (6/10). Finally on the south panel is Eddie Collins (7/10). This is one of the most important signed baseballs that we have ever offered!! Comes with full PSA Letter of Authenticity.

 

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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