Spring Premier Auction 2020


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/2/2020

Presented here is an ancient ONL (Heydler) ball single-signed by legendary skipper John McGraw, who passed away in 1934 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously in 1937.  His 31 years at the helm of the New York Giants (1902-32) netted a total of 2,840 victories (.589 win clip) as well as 10 National League pennants and three World Series titles. The pioneering baseball tactician and stern leader of men was so well respected by his peers that he was summoned out of retirement to manage the first MLB All-Star Game in 1933.

This ball was originally sourced from the family of Albert "Bert" Kenney, who in 1889 gave a 16-year-old McGraw his first opportunity to play organized baseball. Kenney managed a local travel team near Tuxton, NY, where McGraw was born and raised, and later became part-owner of a minor league team in the NY-Penn League (1890-91), both of which McGraw played for (according to a previous auction listing). Eventually Kenny convinced McGraw to try out and make the Baltimore Orioles where he enjoyed a tremendous playing career (.334 lifetime average) that spanned over a decade.

Needless to say, there are very few singles floating around from this fine gentleman who played, managed and died so long ago. McGraw has signed the blue and red stitched sphere "John J. McGraw" on the side panel in a faded 3-4/10 black fountain pen. The National League stamp is legible but the rest of the manufacturer stampings have completely worn off from the heavily toned, scuffed and most likely used ball. Nevertheless, any McGraw single is a unicorn and this one can surely be appreciated by any serious pre-war baseball collector. Includes full LOA from PSA/DNA (W05264).

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,120
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
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