Spring Premier Auction 2020


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

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is widely celebrated as the United States’ greatest President. Historians place him alongside George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, ahead of Thomas Jefferson, on their scholarly lists. No U.S. President has or ever will serve longer in office than FDR, and what he was able to overcome and accomplish during his unprecedented three plus terms (1933-45) cannot be overstated. The charismatic Democrat took office at the height of the Great Depression and rescued the American people from further hardship with his New Deal reform programs. Then, when World War II threatened America’s very existence, Roosevelt was unwavering as Commander-in-Chief, the voice of reason following Pearl Harbor (“a date that will live in infamy”), uniting the nation with decisive leadership that ultimately brought about the most important victory the human race has ever known. All this while confined to a wheelchair. FDR died in office on April 12, 1945, shortly after the start of his fourth term and just a month before Germany’s surrender ended the war.

When it comes to presidential signed baseballs, this stunning sphere certainly ranks among the finest extant. FDR is the rarest POTUS autograph you will find on a baseball and, along with JFK, the most coveted. Only four other FDR singles have surfaced publicly this millennium, none presenting as clean and exquisite as this one. The Reach manufacturer stampings date the Official American League William Harridge ball to 1940-41, the beginning of FDR’s record third presidential term with the U.S. on the brink of entering a world war on two fronts. Roosevelt enjoyed the game of baseball immensely and threw out the first pitch eleven times, more than any other President. He witnessed Babe's called shot at the 1932 World Series and was the first U.S. President to attend an All-Star Game. In his notable “Green Light Letter” to Commissioner Landis one month after Pearl Harbor, FDR wrote, “I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.” He believed America’s Pastime served a very important purpose by entertaining the masses during difficult times.

Roosevelt's lovely black ink autograph, done in typical fashion with his middle initial, flows elegantly across the sweet spot, rating 7-8/10 in strength and eye appeal. The cream-colored consistency and lack of toning on the Shellac-free ball give it a level of warmth and purity deserving of such an important historical figure’s penmanship. It’s as if you can see Roosevelt’s affection for the game by the respectful manner with which he signed this ball. Fresh to the market, this museum-worthy relic connects America’s most beloved game with one of its most endearing fans to ever sit in the Oval Office. The only other FDR single that comes close in terms of condition and presentation sold for $41,515 in 2004. Includes LOA’s from PSA/DNA (Cert. #: AH04387) and JSA.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $10,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $80,750
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
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